Murder

Sarah McKenzie

Minneapolis homicide detectives found the body of a man shot to death in a wooded area of the Como neighborhood on Tuesday morning.
Penny Parrish, a Minneapolis Police Department spokeswoman, said authorities investigated the area after a reported shooting Monday night around 10:30 at 1019 18th Ave. S.E. But thick brush in the area thwarted officers’ attempts to find the victim Monday night, Parrish said.
No suspects have been named in the slaying, Parrish said.
Detectives found the victim, said to be a black male in his early 20s, in a heavily wooded area behind an alley near a set of railroad tracks that cross 18th Avenue S.E.
Police did not release the identity of the man at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.
According to reports, Minneapolis police responded to a 911 call around 10:30 Monday night from Rajav Jabbar, 22.
Parrish said Jabbar accompanied the victim just before the time of the shooting, as he dropped the victim off at the two-story house at 1019 18th Ave. S.E. The victim then proceeded inside and shots were fired, Parrish said.
The victim then left the house and headed across the street toward the heavily wooded area where he collapsed, Parrish said.
Neighbors in the area said the occupants of the house where the man was shot had vacated the home on July 1.
Dennis Irisarri, 20, lives across the street from the house where the man was shot. Police officers questioned him Monday night about the incident.
Irisarri said he was watching a movie with his roommates when they heard shots ring out around 10:30 p.m.
“It sounded like firecrackers so I didn’t think much of it,” Irisarri said.
Irisarri said he heard a man moaning after the gunfire. He said he did not see the man or anyone else involved in the incident.
Irisarri said he had not seen the former tenants of the home for more than a week. Other neighbors living on the block confirmed Irisarri’s statement.
“The woman living at the house said she was going to be evicted,” said Rana Kasich, 20, a resident in the area.
Kasich, a College of Liberal Arts junior, said several children lived in the home.
“They were always running around, knocking on neighbors’ doors,” Kasich said. She had not seen any of the children since the first of the month.
Ray Sullivan, 23, also lives on the block where the homicide occurred and said he knew the family fairly well.
Although he could not recall the name of the woman who lived in the house, he said she moved to Edina after her eviction. He has not seen her or the children in the past week.
College of Liberal Arts sophomore Melissa Pitts, 20, lives with Kasich. She said several squad cars lined the block last night when she arrived home from work.
Other neighbors standing outside police barriers Tuesday afternoon said they were outraged and concerned about increased levels of crime in the neighborhood just north of campus.
“This is usually a quiet neighborhood,” said Peter Grotans, an architecture student at the University. “It’s never been this bad before.”
Grotans grew up in the area and said the number of break-ins and thefts in the past few months is unusual for the Como area.
He did not hear or see anything suspicious Monday night, but said his girlfriend heard screams and a lot of noise in the vicinity of the reported crime.