MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 13-year-old boy is dead and his 12-year-old friend is hospitalized after they were both shot Wednesday night in north Minneapolis.
Police found the 12-year-old in the street near 16th and Upton Avenues. As he was being transported to North Memorial Hospital he told police his friend was shot nearby.
Later, police found the 13-year-old boy, identified as Rayjon Gomez, a couple blocks away on Russell Avenue, two hours after he was shot. He was pronounced dead on scene.
Friends of Gomez said he was trying to run to safety and believe his death is related to other shootings involving teenagers.
“Very fun to be around. Just an all-around good kid,” said Gomez’s father, Kevin Funchie when asked to describe him.
Funchie said his son had recently returned home from Bar None, a residential treatment center in Anoka, and was turning his life around. He liked to play basketball, swim at the YMCA and would have been in the 8th grade this fall.
“Everybody is just really in shock. Nobody really understands how this happened or why this happened. It’s just so senseless,” said Funchie.
“We have to do something as a community to stop this and I just hope that we can all pull together and keep our children safe,” said Gomez’s aunt, Katherine Funchie.
Gomez’ his death comes four days after 14-year-old Quantell Braxton was shot and killed on the North Side. Vijay Smith of MAD DADS says there isn’t enough for kids to do on the north side, and getting their hands on a gun has become far too easy.
“I think our kids are getting more courage. And they are growing too fast,” said Smith.
A step-grandmother of the 12-year-old said he is in stable condition at North Memorial Medical Center and doing much better.
A vigil is being held at the intersection of Lyndale and Broadway Thursday night, and it that has been organized by people who live in the neighborhoods affected by the recent shootings.
On Thursday afternoon, Minneapolis Police said they will increase patrol over dozens of blocks in the north side.