Minneapolis, MN – Gunfire erupted in George Floyd Square on Tuesday as people prepared to hold a family-friendly festival marking the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death.
Video footage captured the moment when a barrage of gunfire broke out near the square at approximately 10 a.m., interrupting a reporter’s broadcast.
“We’re just gonna be careful here with some gunshots. Excuse us,” the reporter commented, ducking to the side while other witnesses casually looked down the street towards the area where the gunfire was coming from.
More gunshots rang out a moment later.
Down at Chicago Avenue and 38th Street – the area known as George Floyd Square – people ran for cover as bullets shattered storefront windows, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Mileesha Smith, 30, said she was at the square with her two children, ages five and eight, when she heard the gunshots, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Smith, who was wearing a bulletproof vest as she spoke with the paper, said she has heard gunfire multiple times in the past while she was “patrolling” the George Floyd Square area over the past year.
Here’s the moment shots were fired near George Floyd Square earlier this morning. pic.twitter.com/NIWRBr6b9Y
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) May 25, 2021
“My anxiety is through the roof. What just happened is why we are here. We are dying, not just by the police. We can’t even have a nice moment without someone trying to kill us,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
Musician Ananda Bates, 49, said he was out by tour bus filled with musical equipment when the bullets started flying.
Bates immediately grabbed two boys who were playing nearby and laid down on top of them, he told the Los Angeles Times.
He said he could feel bullets hitting the bus.
Several moments after the gunfire ended, the boys’ mother came running over to them.
“What’s the protocol? Do we call the police?” he asked her.
“No,” she responded.
— Mercury Chronicle 🇺🇸 (@MercuryReports) May 25, 2021
According to the Los Angeles Times, the square was devoid of police at the time of the attack, and no officers were seen in the area afterwards.
Many of the members of the crowd that gathered in the area after the shooting were white, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“They love us when we’re dead,” Smith commented.
According to police, dozens of rounds were fired during the incident and one man was shot, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The wounded victim showed up at a nearby hospital and remained in critical condition Tuesday night.
Police said he is expected to survive.
Gunfire rang out Tuesday morning at George Floyd Square shortly after 10 a.m.
Barbara Plett Usher of BBC was there, tweeting: “Initial picture: unknown gunmen fired at the square from outside the perimeter. Local patrol shot back #DemVoice1 #FreshVoicesRise #ONEV1 ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/H7GFrNbATA
— Janna-New Day (@Janna1104day) May 25, 2021
No one has been arrested in connection with the attack, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The shooting was the result of an apparent parking dispute, according to the New York Post.
Nearly a third of the Minneapolis police force has quit or retired over the past year.
Crime rates have surged, to include the shootings of nearly 20 juveniles over the past few weeks alone, the New York Post reported.
The city’s year-to-date murder rate is double that of the same period one year ago.
The situation has grown so dire, even Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had to admit there are not enough law enforcement officers to protect the community, the New York Post reported.
Frey confirmed on Sunday that the city’s police force is stretched so thin, they have been forced to rely on outside law enforcement agencies for help.
“Given some of the attrition that we’ve seen over the last year, these resources are going to be really, really critical,” he told the New York Post.