Minneapolis man charged in fatal shooting of acquaintance


 A Minneapolis man was charged with second-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting earlier this week, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Willie Brown, Jr.,35,  is expected to make his first court appearance Monday. Prosecutors will ask the judge to set his bail at $1 million.

According to the criminal complaint, police were sent to the 1900 block of Newton Avenue North shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday to investigate a report of shots fired. They found a man lying in the street with three bullet wounds to his face and neck. The victim, 29-year-old Dwayne Hawkins, Jr., of Minneapolis, died 40 minutes later at the hospital.

On Tuesday evening, Brown was at home in the 2900 block of Sheridan Avenue North and propositioned a woman there. Several men related to the woman intervened and argued with Brown, who eventually left the house. Late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, Brown returned to that house and confronted the same men, but Hawkins arrived in a black Chevy Impala and broke up the argument, the complaint states. Brown and Hawkins drove away in the Impala.

While still investigating Hawkins’ death on Thursday morning, police were sent to a shooting at the Sheridan Avenue house. The woman who had been propositioned said Brown drove by in the Impala and fired several shots at her house, according to the complaint. Other witnesses reported Brown had two handguns.

Officers searched the area and found the Impala. The car’s interior was covered in blood. A short time later, officers found Brown walking in the neighborhood and arrested him, the complaint states. They searched the area between the car and where he was arrested and found two handguns, a .40 caliber and a 9 mm, in the gutter of an unattached garage. The guns matched the discharged cartridge casings found at the scenes of the two shootings.

Investigators also received a call from Brooklyn Park Police that a stash of bloody clothes had been found in an automated car wash. The surveillance video showed Brown driving up in the Impala during the time between the two shootings, getting out of the car and dumping the clothes inside the car wash, according to the complaint.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)