Brooklyn Park man found guilty of murder in drive-by shooting
A Brooklyn Park man was found guilty for a fatal drive-by shooting that occurred in North Minneapolis in August of 2019, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
After three days of jury trial, Michael Ferguson, 26, of Brooklyn Park, was found guilty December 17 of second-degree murder for the shooting death of 23-year-old Kyreon Watkins, of Minneapolis. The incident occurred August 24, 2019, at 21st and Aldrich Avenues in North Minneapolis, an area where the criminal street gang YNT is known to gather.
Ferguson’s sentencing date has been scheduled for January 15, at 11:30 a.m. Based on his past criminal history, presumptive sentencing guidelines suggest he receive 366 months in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, Minneapolis Police officers responded to a shooting at 2018 Aldrich Avenue around 8:20 p.m. When they arrived, officers learned that a male victim, Watkins, had been severely injured and was taken to North Memorial Hospital. There, police found that Watkins had been shot once on the right side of his head and died as a result of those injuries.
At the hospital, officers observed numerous YNT gang members. Police also spoke with witnesses, who stated that the gunman fired 5-to-6 shots at a group of men. One witness standing near Watkins when he was shot in the head was able to identify the shooter as Ferguson, the complaint states.
Surveillance footage obtained by police captured the shooting on camera. The video shows a group of approximately 20 men who had gathered on a sidewalk near a church, including Ferguson and Watkins. Ferguson appears to get into a verbal altercation with another man, and eventually walks away, getting into the passenger side of a parked car on Aldrich Avenue, the complaint says.
The car begins to move forward slightly, and Ferguson is seen pulling out a gun, extending his left arm, and firing multiple times at the group of men. As the men attempt to run away, Watkins can be seen falling to the ground on the sidewalk. Other men nearby pick him up and place him in the backseat of a car, which then drives off, the complaint continues.
Following the shooting, Ferguson fled to Milwaukee, WI, where he was arrested September 3, 2019 and extradited to Minneapolis.
During an interview with investigators, Ferguson initially stated he was not involved in the shooting, even after seeing the surveillance footage. When Ferguson asked for the victim’s name, and was told, he said that Watkins was his “homie,” and he admitted to being involved in the shooting, the complaint states.
Ferguson also admitted to fleeing Minnesota after he learned someone had been shot and killed.
View the criminal complaint against Ferguson (PDF).