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"The frustration is real": Gun violence persists in north Minneapolis as advocates push back

Gun violence persists in north Minneapolis as advocates push back
Gun violence persists in north Minneapolis as advocates push back 02:21

MINNEAPOLIS – While the auditorium at Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis is a common place for messages to be shared, the roughly 150 people there Saturday evening got a different kind of sermon – centered on preventing community violence.

The event, put on in part by the Twin Cities-based 'Man Up Club', focused on reaching young people through the message of the gospel.

"I hope that this would be a movement that would move young people toward empowerment, toward faith, that young people would step up," said Man Up Club founder Korey Dean.

Dean founded the club in 2012, and in the years since has tried to make a difference in community violence by showing an alternative for kids in the community.

"There's a lot of things that concern me in regard to the young people that I serve," he said. "It's a lot of violence that takes place. Unfortunately, a lot of kids are afraid to walk up and down the street, and we have to do something to change that on every level."

Less than two miles away, the violence Dean referenced during his Man Up event had materialized just one night prior.

William Heathershaw, his wife, and the couple's newborn baby were sleeping in their northside home when a bullet pierced through – bursting through three walls before lodging itself near their stairwell.

"When I saw the bullet holes, my stomach really sank, I think my heart raced, and I became pretty upset," Heathershaw said.

The 4th Minneapolis police precinct where the Heathershaws live has been the site of 3,407 of the city's 5,740 shots fired calls in 2022.

Their neighborhood has recorded nearly three shots fired calls each day this year.

When Heathershaw called MPD, he says an officer took a report and moved on.

"[The responding officer] informed me that he also lives in this neighborhood and this sort of thing happens all of the time," Heathershaw said. "He wrote a little report, then he said, 'Take care.' It sounds like the city is so overwhelmed with incidents that they can only open an investigation if there's [victims] involved."

Heathershaw says the most unnerving part of the stray bullet ripping through his home is knowing his loved ones were just feet away.

"The frustration is real, and the disappointment is real," he said.

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