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Hennepin County attorney files murder charges in two June homicides

Minneapolis Star Tribune logo Minneapolis Star Tribune 7/8/2020 By Ryan Faircloth, Star Tribune

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed murder charges against two men in unrelated homicides that occurred in Minneapolis in June.

Donell Deon Flowers, 24, is being held in the Hennepin County jail on charges of second-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Flowers was arrested Monday in connection with a June 4 shooting in north Minneapolis that left one man dead.

Charges say Flowers and two other men, whom authorities have identified as members of the Tre Tre Crips street gang, opened fire on a white Jeep driven by rival gang members at N. 34th and Dupont avenues, sending witnesses ducking for cover.

A ShotSpotter activation detected 36 shots fired just before 8 p.m., according to court documents. The Minneapolis Police Department’s crime lab found 51 shell casings at the scene.

Just after 9 p.m., Minneapolis police were called to the North Memorial Health Hospital, where they found the white Jeep riddled with bullet marks, its rear passenger window shattered. A man in the vehicle had died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head.

Investigators learned the victim was in the front passenger seat when he was shot. Another man who drove the Jeep survived.

Flowers and his group were scanning the area for rival gang members before the shooting, according to charges.

Cell tower information showed Flowers’ phone in the area of the shooting when it occurred, court documents say. He was arrested Monday at a convenience store in the 3600 block of Penn Avenue North, and dropped a loaded .380 handgun onto the ground when he was taken into custody.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office also filed second-degree murder charges against Jerome Drell Randle on Tuesday. Randle, a 29-year-old from Maplewood, shot and killed 27-year-old Cody Pollard during an altercation in downtown Minneapolis on June 21, according to court documents.

Randle and two other men were assaulting Pollard in the area of 7th Street and N. 1st Avenue, steps from the First Avenue music venue, just after 12:40 a.m., the charges said. A video posted to social media showed Randle pistol-whipping Pollard in the back of the head, charges say.

The next portion of the video showed Pollard bleeding and hunched over, telling a driver “I am hit” and to “call the police,” according to charges.

Surveillance footage from nearby businesses also captured the altercation. At one point, surveillance video showed a large crowd of witnesses immediately dispersing, “consistent with how a crowd responds after hearing gunfire,” charges say.

Pollard showed up to HCMC with a gunshot wound to his torso. He went into surgery and died shortly after. A witness who was with Pollard said Randle was the only one seen with a gun during the fight. The complaint did not say that Randle was in custody.

The fatal shooting happened around the same time that gunfire erupted in Minneapolis’ Uptown area, wounding 11 people.

Police originally believed Pollard was killed in the Uptown shooting based on the timing of his arrival at the hospital, but later revised their account. Officers did not get to speak with Pollard before he died.

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©2020 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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