By Erin Hassanzadeh


ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Less than an hour after a shooting in Minneapolis, police responded to a different shooting in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood of St. Paul.

Investigators say the victim, 29-year-old Wayne Brown of St. Paul, eventually died at the hospital. Witness interviews are underway, but no arrests have been made.

That is the eighth deadly shooting in St. Paul this month and the 22nd this year. Mentoring Young Adults, a St. Paul non-profit, is begging for the shootings to stop.

“I want our city of St. Paul to act with a sense of urgency,” Dora Jones-Robinson of St. Paul said. “Our babies are dying on the street, bloodshed.”

Jones-Robinson woke up to news she’s tired of hearing: the eighth deadly shooting in a month. It’s tough to swallow for a woman committed to reaching young people before they turn to violence.

“My tears ain’t for nothing. They’re salty and I’m tired of crying over gun violence,” she said. “[We’re] not going to be able to save them all, unfortunately. We only can save the ones who want to be saved and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

“It’s the smallest of things that are triggering us to go to war with each other,” said Miki Frost, an outreach worker with Guns Down St. Paul.

“We want to intervene with these young people — see if we can mediate some type of dialogue to get them to try to put down the guns and try to set aside the differences in which they’re having.”

Pastor and outreach worker Tim Wilson is trying to combat the violence, too.

“I’m just a foot soldier,” Wilson said. “I’ll keep fighting this fight and just talking to these young people and asking them, ‘What can we do as an older generation to help you?'”

This group says the violence is generally about petty things, but the root cause runs deeper.

“They’re angry, [they’re] frustrated and unfortunately they take it out on each other,” Jones-Robinson said.

“It’s a lot of kids that don’t feel like they’re worth anything,” Frost said.

“As long as people are hurting, they’re gonna hurt people ’cause that’s what hurt people do,” Wilson said. “They hurt people.”

The group says they are tired. Some said they sometimes don’t sleep in lieu of wondering how to fix the violence, but that they’ll continue the conversation as long as they have to.

“It’s our city,” Frost said. “In some type of way we’re gonna get it back to what it once was.”

Wilson said he isn’t giving up hope.

“Guns down, St. Paul. We cannot say it any louder. That’s our message,”  Jones-Robinson said. “And it’s very clear.”

St. Paul police are looking for information about last night’s shooting. The department can be reached at 651-266-5650.

Erin Hassanzadeh

Comments