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'It Has To Stop': 14-Year-Old Demaris Ekdahl Dies After Shooting At Graduation Party In Woodbury

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A 14-year-old boy is dead after a shooting at a party in Woodbury Saturday night, according to police. Family has identified the boy as Demaris Ekdahl.

Demaris Ekdahl
Demaris Ekdahl (credit: Katie Ekdahl)

"Last night's shooting on Edgewood Av resulted in the tragic loss of a 14-year-old boy, and our hearts go out to his family," the Woodbury Police Department said in a statement. "Detectives worked tirelessly through the night investigating the case and will continue to work on developing leads."

The department said officers responded to the 6100 block of Edgewood Avenue around 10:45 p.m. after several 911 calls.

Officers found 30-40 people at the scene, which appeared to be a graduation party. Witnesses said two vehicles, a white SUV and a dark SUV or truck, were involved.

The shooting is under investigation, and the Woodbury Police Department said it was aware of "other scenes" with vehicles believed to be involved in Maplewood and Oakdale.

Ekdahl's aunt told WCCO he was going to start his sophomore year at Tartan High School in the fall. She said he was uncomfortable with some of the people at the party, and was leaving in a car with his older brother and cousin when he was shot.

Ekdahl's family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses. They plan to release balloons in Ekdahl's honor at 6 p.m. Sunday at Walton Park in Oakdale.

Tom and Chris Wakefield live across the street from this home where the college graduation party was happening.

"It was a graduation party for two of her daughters. [The graduate's mom] invited me over, but I told her I had my granddaughter at the time so I couldn't do that," said Chris Wakefield.

They were watching TV at home when they suddenly heard several gunshots.

"I heard about 30 [rounds] go off," said Tom Wakefield.

Investigators found several neighboring homes with bullet holes, but police say no one in them was hurt.

"The fact that somebody got shot in this neighborhood. I can't believe it," said Bob McNally, who was nearby at his parent's home when the shooting happened.

"It's ridiculous. This is probably one of the safest neighborhoods in Woodbury," said McNally.

Tom Wakefield grew emotional thinking of how close gun violence was to his home.

"We've been here 30 years and nothing like this has ever happened. I'm sorry for the neighbors and us," said Wakefield, "So it's a sad day. Somebody shot. It has to stop."


On Sunday evening, Tartan High School issued a statement:

It is with a heavy heart that I share that Tartan student DeMaris Hobbs-Ekdahl passed away unexpectedly yesterday.

Our hearts go out to the Hobbs-Ekdahl family, and I ask that you please keep them in your thoughts during this very challenging time.

Though school is out, we have many resources available to our students who are struggling with this news. If your student needs any assistance you may reach us at 651-702-8600.

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