Guilty plea in wild Lake Street shooting spree


A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to attempted murder in a shooting that miraculously injured no one despite shooting at a car leaving a restaurant parking lot and hitting another traveling on Lake Street, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Clarence Dickens, 23, pleaded guilty as his trial was set to begin. He was immediately sentenced to 10 years in prison. During his court appearance Wednesday, Dickens admitted to firing a handgun seven times at an SUV and trying to kill the passenger. He never gave any reason for the shooting.

“We are very pleased to get this guilty plea and prison sentence,” Freeman said. “We cannot have persons illegally carrying guns and firing wildly on our city streets. It was only dumb luck that no one was injured and Mr. Dickens needs to pay the price for the terror he caused to so many people that day.”

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the McDonald’s on Lake Street near Second Avenue South just before 5 p.m. on Aug. 21. They learned that Dickens walked up to a black SUV that was just leaving the McDonald’s lot and fired numerous shots at the passenger side of the vehicle. After the first shot, the passenger climbed into the backseat to protect a young child.

Another couple was driving on Lake Street with their teenager when one of the bullets struck their car, the criminal complaint states. As the shooting began, an unmarked Minneapolis Police car was nearby and they saw Dickens run and jump into a car and drive off. The officers pursued him. He eventually jumped out of the car and after a foot chase, police captured him. They also recovered the gun, which he dropped during the chase.

Dennis Mobley, 25, of Minneapolis was driving the car Dickens used to escape. Mobley also was arrested by police. He pleaded guilty Friday to aiding an offender and is awaiting sentencing.

Criminal complaint (PDF)