MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Downtown Minneapolis leaders say there’s a plan to ensure visitors are safe after shootings on two consecutive weekends.
Both happened in the popular Warehouse District. The most recent was Sunday evening at Breakfast Bar of Minnesota. Police said a customer shot an employee after a fight during the dinner hour.READ MORE: Clean Car Debate At Minnesota Capitol May Lead To Summer Closures Of State Parks, Trails
Ownership tells WCCO the employee is doing fine and back at work. They also plan to increase security at the restaurant.
One week earlier, two people were shot at Rouge at the Lounge as the club was closing. One of the victims would later die at the hospital.
Matt Peterson who was visiting downtown Wednesday evening for a concert.
“It’s obviously shocking. Things like that do happen unfortunately, that’s just kind of how it is,” Peterson said.
Rouge was cited by the city for not providing adequate security to prevent criminal activity, and violating alcohol management responsibilities. It was also fined $400. Rouge management now has to submit an updated security plan to the city, including how to prevent guns from getting inside.
The city is currently investigating the incident at Breakfast Bar. Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District, says 2020 has already proved to be challenging.
“It’s definitely not the way we hope to start the year from a public safety standpoint,” Cramer said.READ MORE: Marietta's Salt Lake Is A Paradise For Birds And Bird Watchers
The DID has a Nightlife Plan Implementation Committee which works with alcohol-serving businesses to ensure staff are properly trained and security is reviewed. The committee then makes recommendations based on best practices. Cramer says it’s usually a proactive approach.
“But then if something goes wrong, you can bet there will be a very careful review of what could have gone better here,” Cramer said. “If there’s some accountability to be had, then that needs to occur as well.”
New this year, the Minneapolis Police Department, Metro Transit and Hennepin County Sheriff’s office will start their increased patrol presence in the entertainment district in April during late night hours on weekends. It usually began in mid-May.
Another new idea is having DID ambassadors available to escort people who feel unsafe overnight to their cars, hotels, or where they live.
“We’re realistic about the challenges we face, and we have strategies to address those head on,” Cramer said.
Gerard Thompson, who was also downtown for a concert Wednesday, was glad to hear about the new safety plan.
“Any preventative actions they’re taking now would benefit everyone in the long run,” Thompson said.MORE NEWS: COVID In MN: Gov. Walz To Announce On Thursday His Timeline To End All Restrictions
No arrests have been made in either Warehouse District shooting.