Daylight shootout ends with guilty plea

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

A Brooklyn Park man pleaded guilty to firing multiple times in a shootout near a Taco Bell that somehow ended with no injuries to the two men, nor to numerous bystanders, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Tyler Schlotfeldt-Gidney, 22, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and second-degree riot Tuesday morning as jury selection was about to begin for his trial. His sentencing is scheduled for March 7 and prosecutors will be seeking the mandatory minimum of three years in prison, while Schlotfeldt-Gidney’s attorney will be seeking substantially less.

The shooting occurred about 4:10 p.m. Nov. 15, 2016 in a parking lot near the restaurant at 425 W. Broadway Ave. in Minneapolis. Restaurant employees told police that they saw two men shooting at each other in the parking lot, near the Auto Zone parking lot. The restaurant employees immediately started locking the Taco Bell doors, according to the criminal complaint.

Other people were standing in the two parking lots and traffic was going by on Broadway Avenue at the time, but the only thing that was apparently hit was the car in which Schlotfeldt-Gidney was a passenger. Police recovered 25 discharged cartridge casings in the parking lot.

During his guilty plea Tuesday, Schlotfeldt-Gidney admitted to firing his semi-automatic handgun repeatedly, but said he fired several of the shots in the air. According to the criminal complaint, both James Barnes and Schlotfeldt-Gidney said Schlotfeldt-Gidney fired first, although he said he did it only after Barnes pulled out his gun. The criminal charge against Schlotfeldt-Gidney was for the final three shots he fired when surveillance video clearly showed Barnes had stopped shooting and was running away.

Schlotfeldt-Gidney had no criminal record and had a permit to carry the handgun. Barnes was charged with one count of felon in possession of ammunition and one count of felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the incident.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)