Boy shot dead in Minneapolis, one other woundedby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis, Minn. — The Hennepin County Medical Examiner say 13-year-old RayJon Gomez died after being shot in the back in north Minneapolis Wednesday night.
A 12-year-old boy who was with Gomez at the time of the shooting was also wounded but is expected to survive.
Investigators still are trying to find out who is behind the shooting. Police officials are beefing up patrols in north Minneapolis in an attempt to stop a rash of shootings, including an earlier shooting that killed Quantell Braxton, 14.
However, VJ Smith, director of the anti-violence group MAD DADS said a wide range of community resources need to do their part.
"We all need to come together to fight against the senseless violence against our kids. Our kids don't deserve this," Smith said. "And it's up to all of us. We can't expect the police department to do everything. We have got to bring resources. And we've got to do something."
MAD DADS will participate in a vigil this weekend for Braxton, killed in north Minneapolis last week.
The violence is unusual considering the young age of the victims and given that reported crime on the north side is down from last year, Police Chief Tim Dolan said. He asked the community for help in finding suspects and urged parents to keep their young children indoors after dark.
Gomez was shot around 9 p.m. After searching, police found his body two hours later hidden in tall grass.
Dolan called for other citizens to come forward with information that can help police find the person or people behind the shooting. There are no suspects in custody. Dolan asks neighborhood residents to call police if they see anything suspicious.
Police will deploy officers from other parts of the city to the north side, Fourth Precinct Commander Mike Martin said. Police are asking to find out who these kids are and who would want to shoot them.
"One of the things we want to do is get out there," Martin said. "We want to engage these kids, and when I say that I mean talk to them. Have consensual conversations. Get to know them.
"But we want to get to know who these kids are. These are younger kids who haven't been on our radar."
Police are also investigating two other shootings that preceded the one that killed Gomez.
"Tuesday night, a 19-year-old woman standing with a group of others at a peace rally on a busy street corner was seriously wounded by gunfire."
Four days earlier, and less than a mile away, Braxton was shot and killed near North Commons Park.
A bouquet of balloons and flowers are tied to a stop sign near where Braxton died. Earlier this week his uncle, Kevin Braxton sat nearby.
"Every day I'm here, every day. From when I get up 'til I go to sleep. Every day."
Since the shooting, Braxton has seen signs of more violence. He said the other night a group of young men came out of the park and threatened mourners who were gathered around the memorial.
"They came over the hill, one guy said he had a gun or whatever and there was probably 30 people out here," Braxton said. "Everybody ran to their cars. We had to take off."
Minneapolis police officials responded to the call and arrested a man carrying a replica gun.
After the incident the police set up a portable camera to monitor the area and patrol officers have become more visible.
There will be a vigil for Braxton at the memorial site this Sunday. Police officials say vigils can provoke reprisals from rivals or suspects who want to further intimidate victims. They say police will have a visible presence at the vigil.