Is Lynnhurst Stabbing Part of Trend?
Late Tuesday night, two Park Police officers were nearly killed.
Tuesday night's assault on two Minneapolis Park Police officers at the corner of West Minnehaha Parkway and Bryant Avenue South was an isolated incident, police said in a press conference on Wednesday, and don't believe it portends increased criminal activity along Minnehaha Creek.
Around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, a man called 911 claiming to have been mugged at knife-point by Minnehaha Creek near Bryant Avenue South, Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson Sgt. William Palmer told reporters at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. As every officer in the precinct was tied up on priority calls, police didn't respond until 11:45 p.m., Palmer said. When officers did arrive, he added, the man "almost immediately" fell upon the pair.
One officer was stabbed in the chest, but the knife was stopped by his ballistic vest. His life was "quite possibly saved" by his balistic vest, Palmer said. In the ensuing scuffle, the second officer was stabbed in the upper back, above her bulletproof vest, and she was knocked to the ground, giving her a severe cut on the back of her head.
At around this point, the first officer drew his weapon, shot the attacker at least once, and called for backup and medical assistance.
The suspect, who has had numerous run-ins with the law over the last 10 years, is currently in stable condition at Hennepin County Medical Center and under guard. Police would not comment on the suspect's mental state, or whether or not he had drugs or alcohol in his system when he assaulted the Park Police officers.
The incident immediately sparked concern from Southwest Minneapolis residents. According to Sgt. Palmer, some Lynnhurst residents had asked police if the stabbing indicated a wider uptick in violent crime in a neighborhood that has been hit by many burglaries this summer.
"I want to emphasize that this is an isolated incident," Palmer said. "This was not a robbery, but a gentleman who chose to target officers."
There are no other suspects, Palmer said, and investigators currently don't think the incident is related to other crimes or incidents of officers being ambushed.
"The Lynnhurst neighborhood continues to be one of safest neighborhoods in the city," police said in an unsigned email to neighborhood residents. "Violent crime continues to drop. There have been two reported violent crimes so far in 2012 vs. six in 2011 and five in 2010 during the same time period."