Gay 90's shooter: Someone randomly threw me a gun, I picked it up and ran

Categories: Crime, Minneapolis
Police charged two men in connection with a quadruple shooting that ended Pride weekend on a sour note.
The Hennepin County Attorney's office has charged two men in connection with the Monday morning post-bar close shooting outside the Gay 90's that left three patrons and one suspect with gunshot injuries.

Don Austin, 20, described by police as "a stocky black male," faces three felony counts of aiding and abetting in the first degree and one felony count of illegally possessing a firearm (he has a felony conviction for motor vehicle theft). He faces up to 62 years in prison.

Dontae McKinney, 19, described by police as "a black male," faces one felony count of first-degree assault and two felony counts of aiding and abetting an assault in the first degree. He faces up to 60 years in prison.

KSTP reports that police aren't yet releasing Austin or McKinney's mugshots, as they were still conducting suspect lineups as of last night.

The criminal complaint says that around 2 a.m. on Monday morning, police broke up a fight between two groups of people at Hennepin Avenue and 4th Street. Minutes later, officers heard multiple gunshots and saw people fleeing from the area around the Gay 90's. When officers arrived in front of the bar, they found two gunshot victims bleeding profusely.

One victim, a 19-year-old male, suffered serious injuries from bullet wounds to his buttock and thigh. His injuries required surgery and police report he'll need more medical care and rehabilitation. The other victim, a 20-year-old male, was also shot in his thigh and needed emergency medical care. A third victim, a 24-year-old male, was later located at Regions Hospital in St. Paul with a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

Thanks to witness descriptions, police quickly tracked down Austin and McKinney, both of whom had guns with live rounds in their respective chambers. Austin was found and arrested in a nearby alley. Police found McKinney in another nearby alley and shot him in the arm after he grabbed his gun and moved toward an officer.

In a post-Miranda statement, McKinney provided a clever reason for having a gun on him when he was shot by police. He admitted he was present when shots were fired outside the Gay 90's, but said he wasn't the shooter. Rather, he said that one of the shooters threw his gun. A "random" gun sitting by his feet, McKinney said he simply picked it up and ran from the scene.

McKinney, however, didn't have similarly clever explanations for why he felt compelled to run from police or why he allegedly made a threatening move toward a police officer with the gun in-hand.

Said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman during a press conference yesterday: "If you're dumb enough to start shooting at a bar closing, there's a ton of police there."

Previous coverage:
-- Three Gay 90's patrons injured during Monday morning downtown Minneapolis shootout
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