Two men were shot Monday evening outside the Brian Coyle Center in South Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
Both men were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. One of the men, who was shot in the torso, was in life-threatening condition but is now expected to live, and the other was shot in the leg, Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer said.
Police received their first call at 5:25 p.m. and, as of Monday night, have no suspects. Immediately after the shooting, the doors of the center were locked with those at the center kept inside.
The community center is a hub for Cedar Riverside’s Somali immigrant community and houses youth programs, a food shelf and a gymnasium. It’s located at 420 15th Ave. S., across from the Riverside Plaza apartments.
The center had a security guard on duty until Jan. 1 of this year, when the guard was removed due to budget cuts, according to a Riverside Plaza security officer.
"Once we start slacking, start sleeping, then something like this happens," he said.
Continuing security at the center is critical, said Abdirizak Mahboub, a fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs who previously volunteered at the Brian Coyle Center.
Mahboub, who was in the area when the shooting occurred, said community members are waiting to hear the identity of the people shot and whether they are from the neighborhood.
It’s unfortunate that Pillsbury United Communities, a nonprofit that runs programs at the center, could not continue the security that has really made a difference in the past year, Mahboub said.
"The community is shocked," he said, and security "is something we are going to demand."
In September 2008, 20-year-old Augsburg student Ahmednur Ali was shot and killed as he walked home after volunteering at the center.
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