Two men plead guilty in two separate shootings

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Two men pleaded guilty in two separate incidents of gun violence, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Andrew Townsend, 22, admitted he was the shooter in an Oct. 9 incident and pleaded guilty on Tuesday to first-degree assault. He will be sentenced on June 9 to 84 months in prison. In a separate case, Arnaz Yavar Thompson, 37, pleaded guilty to possessing a gun, from which he was prohibited. He was sentenced on Monday to 60 months in prison.

According to the criminal complaint against Andrew Townsend, police were called to Ogema Place in Minneapolis on the night of Oct. 9. Officers found a 13-year-old boy lying on the ground in a backyard with a gunshot wound to the head. A witness claimed they heard a male voice say, “you’re a bitch, little bro,” and then a single gunshot. Another witness reported seeing three men just prior to the shooting and identified Townsend as one of the men and the one carrying a gun.

Police obtained video surveillance of the incident, which first shows the three men fighting and Townsend is holding a gun. Then they are seen walking toward a townhouse. A short time later, the victim is seen falling to the ground and then the three men can be seen running from the area. The 13-year-old survived, but sustained permanent injuries.

In the second case of Arnaz Thompson, police responded to the Greyhound bus station in downtown Minneapolis on March 28, 2017, at 5:46 p.m. on a report of a shooting. Officers spoke with several witnesses who said they saw one man fire a handgun at a group of men on the sidewalk and someone within the group fire back. Witnesses described the first shooter and what he was wearing. They also said he fired a black long-barreled revolver. Witnesses said the suspect fled the area in a car.

At 5:59 p.m. officers responded to a call on the 1800 block of Bryant Ave. N. on a report of a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The police found Thompson there and his appearance and clothing were the same as described by witnesses at the bus station. Thompson was suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach and he was taken to the hospital.

The officers observed a vehicle nearby and learned it belonged to Thompson’s girlfriend. They looked inside and saw a black, long-barreled revolver.

Thompson was on probation for a drug offense and was prohibited by law from having a gun.