Suspect in downtown shooting charged with felon in possession of gun

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The only person arrested in the two shootings early Monday morning in downtown Minneapolis was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Qumari Spencer, 19, of Brooklyn Center, is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday. Prosecutors are asking that bail be set at $150,000. Conviction on the charge calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in jail.

“The total lack of regard for the safety of other people by Mr. Spencer, and the others who fired shots, is astounding,” Freeman said. “If we obtain a conviction and he is sentenced to the five years, he will have spent roughly 70 percent of his adult life behind bars. And we are awaiting lab work which could allow us to bring additional charges against him.”

According to the criminal complaint, about 1:30 a.m. Monday, police watching surveillance camera video feeds saw a large group of people fighting at Hennepin Avenue and Fourth Street near the public library. They saw the crowd duck and heard multiple gunshots.

The video showed a shorter black man with dreadlocks and dark clothes move away from that crowd and get into a shooting stance. Immediately, more gunshots were heard and the man, who would be identified later as Spencer, ran towards the parking lot of the Gay 90s bar, the complaint states.

A Minneapolis Police officer encountered him there and heard him say, “I need to get rid of this.” The officer ordered Spencer to the ground but he ran, instead. Officers quickly caught him, arrested him and recovered a handgun from his pants leg. Investigators recovered numerous discharged cartridge casings from the area of the shooting. They are the same caliber as Spencer’s gun, but work is underway to see if the casings match the gun, according to the complaint.

There was a second shooting about 15 minutes earlier several blocks away, but no arrests have been made in that case. In the two incidents, three adults and one juvenile suffered gunshot wounds.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)