Gun violence in the neighborhood

A Hamline student witnessed a St. Paul shootout and shares her story.

Dylan Stage, Reporter

An act of gun violence occurred in the St. Paul community on Oct. 20, when a 16-year-old boy started a shootout near Allianz Field, less than 10 blocks away from campus.

The 16-year-old boy, who is now being held in custody, is believed to have engaged in an open shooting with another armed individual, who is currently at-large. According to St. Paul police reports, two people suffered injuries from gunfire, while several other witnesses were left unharmed.

One of these witnesses was Hamline senior Bree Carey, who said she wanted to get some custard and cheese curds from a local Culver’s across the street from Allianz field on the night of the event.

“I was walking into the Culver’s from my car in the parking lot at around 8 p.m. on that Sunday,” Carey said in an email interview.

Almost immediately upon her arrival, the shooting commenced.

“I heard some shouting and thought nothing of it,” Carey said. “I was about 20 feet from the door when I heard the shots. They came in rapid succession one after the other after the other, then a pause, and a few more.”

Because Carey grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, she is familiar with the question of whether sounds such as these were gunshots or firecrackers.

“When I heard the first [shot], I questioned myself for a moment before I decided that it was for sure gunfire,” Carey said. “Outside Culver’s, I realized by the third shot or so that this time it was gunfire.”

Carey quickly walked inside the Culver’s because she wanted to avoid drawing attention to herself.

“Inside the Culver’s things stood still for a few moments and people looked back and forth between each other and asked whispered questions,” Carey said. “Someone tried to take my order and I am pretty sure I just responded with ‘I think someone just got shot!’ The response that came was ‘well, I mean, we are in the Midway.’”

Carey eventually ordered the custard and cheese curds she came for, however she said she was “still frightened, shaken, and concerned” because “more information came to light about what had actually happened from overhearing others talking.”

It was not until Carey finished her food and left the Culver’s that she realized her car was

surrounded by police tape in the parking lot, which was marked off for investigation.

“I called Hamline [Public Safety],” Carey said. “It took them almost a half an hour to arrive and at first I was frustrated, until I realized that they had been sure to send the best people they had and that with the soccer game, the shooting, and the small scale manhunt happening, most of the roads were completely blocked,” Carey said.

Because of Hamline Public Safety’s service, Carey was able to evacuate safely from the crime scene.

“Especially as college students, you don’t realize how fragile you are until you are in enough danger to look mortality in the face,” Carey said.