Watch CBS News

Downtown Crime Leaves Minneapolis On Edge

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Thirty people have been killed in Minneapolis this year. The latest, a 21-year-old, shot to death in the middle of the city's busiest entertainment district.

Enzo Herrera's family tells us he was shot and killed while walking along 8th Street and Hennepin Avenue with his girlfriend. A 23-year-old man is in jail for that shooting. He has not yet been charged.

It's a place where people go to escape for a few hours. After nearly a century, the Orpheum Theatre has stood the test of time, and they are being tested once again.

"Anytime we get messaging about any kind of safety concern, that concerns us. It's not just if it results in a ticket sale or not," Mark Nerenhausen, president and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust, said.

Staff of the theater, known for creativity, is working on some creative solutions including free outdoor performances.

"We do five to 10 performances out in the parking lot and create a positive street life. We also convene a monthly Hennepin County safety meeting," Nerenhausen said.

Like many other downtown businesses, the theater is working to keep people downtown, which has been a little tricky lately.

Ta'Myah Bramblett works downtown and lives in south Minneapolis. WCCO asked her if she feels comfortable downtown at night.

"No, not really," she said. "After a certain time, there's just a bunch of people doing unnecessary things and I'd rather just avoid it."

Crissy Sims also works downtown, but prefers to play elsewhere.

"Not too long ago, just a couple of weeks ago, we're walking down the street, fights breaking out in random parking lots, and I'm like, that's too much; too much having to keep my head on a swivel," Sims said.

There have been 30 homicides in city limits total this year. Last year, there were 27.

As for downtown specifically, there have been eight homicides and 281 aggravated assaults. Last year, there were three homicides and 259 assaults.

The hope is the crime will decrease, and the show will safely go on.

"We want to stay here we want people to feel comfortable in seeing what we have to offer," Nerenhausen said.

The theater is working with the city and police, the Downtown Improvement District, and groups like Mad Dads to try and address crime at a deeper level.

Police say they've enlisted the help of Hennepin deputies and State Patrol Troopers. Metro Transit police help up their presence during the high crime hours.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.