2 Minnesota National Guardsmen Injured in Drive-By Shooting Members of the National Guard work as riot police to clear protesters from the Brooklyn Center police department in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 14, 2021. (Brian Feinzimer/Sipa via AP)
By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 18 April 2021 04:28 PM
Two Minnesota National Guard members suffered minor injuries Sunday when they were shot at in a drive-by shooting, the state National Guard announced in a statement.
One guardsman was injured by shattered glass and taken to a local hospital, while the other suffered "only superficial injuries," the statement said.
“I am relieved to know none of our guardsmen were seriously injured,” said Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General. “This event highlights the volatility and tension in our communities right now. I ask for peace as we work through this difficult time.”
The team was providing neighborhood security in Minneapolis as part of Operation Safety Net, a joint effort involving the state, the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.
A Minneapolis Police Department neighborhood security team was also shot at.
The operation comes as Minneapolis is experiencing heightened tensions ahead of the expected end this coming week of the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd last May. In addition, the city has experienced violent demonstrations over the last week following the deadly police shooting of Daunte Wright in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center, according to CNN.
Gov. Tim Walz told CNN-affiliated WCCO that he spoke with the two injured guardsmen – one of whom he said he previously served with in a National Guard unit.
"They are OK," Walz said. "But it highlights how dangerous the situation can get."
Walz said the upcoming verdict in the Chauvin trial "is going to be a pivotal point in our state's history, and how we respond to that is going to shape us."