Man shot in Prospect Park, thefts and break-ins continue

The man who was shot did not sustain any life-threatening injuries.

Justin Horwath

. bullet hole through a gutter outside Glendale Apartments – a public housing complex off St. Mary’s Avenue in the Prospect Park neighborhood – marks where a gunman shot an 18-year-old man twice Sunday night.

According to a police report, one bullet struck Ronald Watts in the back and one grazed his arm. Minneapolis Police Lt. Ed Fizzle said the bullet that went through Watts’ back pierced a lung.

Watts did not sustain any life-threatening injuries, and the motive is still unclear at this time.

Shortly after the shooting, an ambulance transported Watts, who called the police himself, to Hennepin County Medical Center.

“I heard the guns and knew right away after the second shot that it wasn’t fireworks,” said Watts’ mother Monday evening, tearing up.

Fizzle said police found five bullet casings at the scene, backing up witness accounts of five rounds ringing out Sunday night just after 9 p.m.

The suspect hung out the rear passenger side of a “newer Ford Taurus (that was) described as a Viking Cab,” brandishing a gun before he shot at Watts, who was walking with his friends, according to a police report.

The suspect was wearing a white baseball cap and a white shirt, according to the report.

Watts was still in the hospital, but was in good condition, said neighbors Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses said a car drove by and fired two shots, then turned around and fired three more.

One of Watts’ neighbors, Laura Rios, 30, said she shooed 10 neighborhood kids out of her front yard minutes before the shooting. Rios, who lives three doors from Watts and has a 13-year-old son, said she then went inside to watch the news before hearing what she believed to be firecrackers.

“If I hadn’t told all of these kids to leave, they would have gotten hit,” she said. “Nobody knows why this happened. That’s why we’re so upset.”

Rios said nearly every resident of the public housing complex has children.

“You see parks everywhere,” she said.

Rios said Watts has always been a positive influence in the neighborhood.

“He graduated (high school) with honors and didn’t bother nobody,” she said. “He is a great kid.”

Tom Streitz, deputy executive director of Minneapolis Public Housing, said the neighborhood is safe for residents.

“The important things for us is that kids have opportunities and recreational activities. That’s something that we work on,” he said.

Second Precinct acting commander, Lt. Greg Reinhardt, said there are no named suspects.

He advised anyone with information to call Minneapolis Police Assault at (612) 673-2941.

Laptop theft common near Dinkytown

Ashley Christensen, a nursing student who graduated from the University last spring said she knew something was wrong when she entered her apartment on Seventh Street Southeast last Wednesday around midnight.

“I came home, and our front door was unlocked, and I thought that my roommates unlocked it, but I came home and I saw that my jewelry was on my bed.”

According to a police report, an unknown suspect entered by cutting a screen and exited through the front door.

She said she noticed that her laptop, some jewelry and DVDs were missing.

“They had to be pretty agile,” she said.

Reinhardt said this case is similar to a burglary of a Fourth Street Southeast dwelling Thursday night, in which a laptop was taken around midnight.

According to Reinhardt, laptops thefts and break-ins are an “ongoing pattern” in and around Dinkytown.

“In other areas of the city not everybody has laptops,” he said.

He said that people with laptops and other electronics should know the serial number, which would aid any investigation.