By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From Vikings fans enjoying a victory strolling home to pet owners grabbing fresh air, Father Hennepin Park near the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis consistently has visitors.

“This is an area where we do not see much in the way of violent crime,” said Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder.

That’s all the more reason Saturday night’s crime scene next to the park was a shock.

“We were just talking about it. We thought it was a crash last night, but definitely not violence,” neighbor Amanda Angel said.

Police said 911 calls came in reporting gunfire around 10 p.m. Saturday. Officers found a man in the street near Main Street SE and 6th Avenue SE who had been shot, later dying at HCMC.

Investigators don’t have a motive as of yet, but also don’t believe the public is in danger.

“But being very honest, we do have someone who committed a murder and is out. That obviously is of concern to the police department,” Elder said.

The crime happened in the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood, which has hosted several public safety meetings with police regarding recent crime.

A man was stabbed to death last month. In August, a woman was sexually assaulted by a stranger in her home.

Vic Thorstenson is the neighborhood association’s president and says police recently set up a mobile surveillance camera at 6th Street SE and 4th Avenue SE to deter criminal activity.

He stresses the neighborhood’s crime rate remains low despite recent incidents.

“The fact (is) there is a lot of traffic and it is a pretty dense neighborhood means that we’re probably gonna get more than our share of crime,” Thorstenson said.

That’s partly why no matter the neighborhood, police are warning people to stay vigilant.

“I just think it causes you take a second look at things and be really conscientious of when you’re going out and what you’re doing when you’re out,” Angel said.

This homicide marks the 40th this year.

Jeff Wagner