Nizzel's death capped off string of gun-related North Side incidents, prosecutors say

Categories: Homicide Files
nizzel george.jpg
Two teens face first-degree murder charges in connection with Nizzel's death.
The June 26 killing of 5-year-old Nizzel George (his father's last name is now being used after earlier reports said the boy's name was Nizzel Banks) brought a string of gun-related incidents on Minneapolis' North Side to a grim conclusion, prosecutors say.

It began on June 25, when a 15-year-old boy with the street name "Funny Mo" pointed a gun at two teens in a North Side gas station. Funny Mo allegedly became upset when he overheard the teens talking about how he was from the "other side." Hours later, five shots were fired at a home, 4501 Camden Ave. N., where Funny Mo was hanging out with 17-year-old Stephon Shannon.

Shannon lives at 4501 Camden with Jamica Holden, the mother of his friend Juwon "Skitz" Osborne, 16, who was shot and killed in an unsolved murder last September. Holden told police Skitz's friends have been calling themselves the "Skitz Squad" and spending a lot of time at her house.

Shannon and Funny Mo believed people from the 4515 Bryant Ave. N. house where Nizzel lived were responsible for the shots fired at Holden's home. In the criminal complaint, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Susan Crumb writes that "neighbors in the area told the officers of conflicts between individuals who frequent the two addresses."

"Defendant was angry and believed that people associated with 4515 Bryant Ave. N. were responsible," she wrote.

About eight hours after Holden's house was shot at, two gunman strafed 4515 Bryant -- located two blocks away from Holden's home -- with bullets. One of them hit Nizzle in the back while he slept on the couch, killing him.

According to a witness quoted in the complaint, Shannon admitted to the shooting, saying he "made peace with God and was sorry about the baby." Another witness said the second gunman was Funny Mo. Shannon denies ever making that statement.

Shannon has been charged with first-degree murder. Funny Mo faces the same charge, but hasn't yet been certified to stand trial as an adult.

Though North Side leaders like Pastor Jerry McAfee of New Salem Baptist Church have urged police to track down the shooters who fired at Holden's home, it appears Funny Mo and Shannon won't be helpful, despite the fact they were there at the time of the shooting.

In the complaint, Crumb writes that during an interrogation by investigators, Shannon said he knew who shot up Holden's home, "but would not tell the officers."

And regarding the still-unsolved murder of his friend Skitz, Shannon told investigators "if he knew who killed [Skitz] he would not tell the police, but would take care of it himself."

Previous coverage:
-- Nizzel Banks' father, Nizz, beat up his girlfriend's 2-year-old after the boy wet his pants
-- Ninzel Banks, 5, killed by stray bullet in north Minneapolis [UPDATE]

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29 comments
Lydiahowell
Lydiahowell

Solving this epidemic of violence is incredibly COMPLICATED----imho NEITHER the JonnyBeGood position or the "poverty/slavery/racism did it" positions really address. 1.Sorry gun enthusiastws: but ACCESS TO ILLEGAL GUNS BY TEENS IS PART OF THE PROBLEM! "Straw buyers" who can legaly buy gojns & do so for a fee for gun-runners and the gun show loophole (no background checks) should be STOPPED. That would at least help slow flow of illegal guns WITHOUT stepping on legal gun-owners' rights. 2.Did the adults at either home KNOW about the ongoing feud between the teens? It had been gong on since last Sept!!! What would have happened if the adults & teens of both households sat down together? Another aspect of this senseless violence is NO NON-VIOLENT CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS. Could churches, community orgs & schools help with this??? 3.Some posters have made this about youth employment is the root of this. WHAT JOBS DO THEY THINK THAT  14-18 yo kids can get? (or even want?) Do these kids join a gang ONLY after not being able to find a job? Really? Would minimu-wage at Micky D's be nough to deter them from hundreds of dollars for hanging out & seling crack? YES: we need more youth emloyment opportunities but, I don't think the gangs & violence problem is JUST about kids wanting/needing $. There's a values issue here along with jobs issue. 4.IDENTITY: To continue from point 3: I think many of these young men are in angs as a kind of "rite of passage" towards defining "manhood" based on the worst sterotypes of Black Man = Gangsta Thug. This violence is in my view much more about "becoming a man" than making money. Most of the violence isn't even over drugs! it's feuds, misunderstaindngins, insults, "not being respected", over a girl, etc. Besides issues of gender/masuclinity, do younger generations of African-Americans have any idea of their own history? poltical struggles? culture (besides hip hop)? Part of keeping kids OUT of gangs would be to revive idea of "freedom schools" that focued on POSITIVE historical figures (& NOT just MLKing----but Malcom X who moved from crimmnal to activist-l;eader), invesntors (NOT just Carver & his peanuts), scieintists, poets, novelists, artists of all kinds, JAZZ, revoutionary soul and other music besides hip hop.. THERE ARE HEROES YOUTH COULD ADMIRE IF THEY KNEW AOBUT THEM. 5.PARENTS: "babies raising babies" in single-parent homes without a dad or money has an impact. My mother had me at 15 & then my brother at 16.She was an alcoholic with alcoholic parents. Domestic violence was also an issue (tho not violence in our neighborhood). So, I've got some idea of the imact of dysfunctional families contribute to this. The community must work on making contraceptives & being responsible to DELAY BECOMING A PARENT part of the solution. The excuse-making by many parents for their kids' violent acts is UNACCEPTABLE. (And let's be real: we;ve seen this all too often).  It's NOT just racism to raise issues of parenting!!!! This cycle must be INTERUPTED. In the meantime, there has to be mroe parenting classes & support, more alternatives toGET KIDS OFF THE STREETS AND INTO POSITVE ENVIRONEMNTS that cabn be a counter-weight to bad/neglectfuol parenting. Our schools, churces, Urban League, Park & Rec etc should all be creating these positve places for kids to be after school and in the summer. 6.Finally, to the white people who don't want their taxes wasted: you can pay $25,000 to $35,000 PER PRISONER  for a prison cell later or invest in Pre-K, parenting classes, family planning services and youth programs NOW. Children & youth do nOT choose the nieghborhood they are born into. ALL of us--Black & white --have a responsiblity to the future to invest time,love, and yes--money--into North Minneapolis young people. Stop the blame game. Stop the excuses. Slavery is historical fact that can NOT be changed. Let's address the PRESENT with everything we've got!

MR.M
MR.M

White Troll:      I am just going to start by saying that i think the comments Tater123 made on this post have been the most intelligent by far. When s/he says that slavery existed within 2 lifetimes ago, 147 years as you calculated, I believe he is correct. People live longer that 20 years, i.e. 2 "lifetimes" is not the same as seven, 20 year generations.     This problem in north Minneapolis is systemic, it goes all the way back to the end of slavery, and it is not isolated to Minneapolis or Minnesota. Post-slavery black people were being arrested en-mass, specifically black men, in order to return them to the very situation they had just escaped, slavery. Do you think rich, white plantation owners, who also had control of the government, were just going to give up their free labor workforce without a fight? Convict labor camps amounted to a new system of free labor/indentured servitude/slavery. Countless laws were created and put into action specifically with the intention of herding black men into prison. This is documented throughout American history. Ever heard of "Jim Crow" laws? And that's just the beginning.     White Troll, your own comments about the disproportionate representation of Black Americans in the prison system, specifically black men, supports my argument. What is more logical; black people as a culture are deciding that it is in their better interests to buck the law, say F' it, and volunteer to go to prison? or that there is a system of outside factors contributing to the mass incarceration of Black Americans? The "War on Drugs" is a good place to look to find this system in action in our present day society. Started by President Reagan, this "color blind" policy efficiently cracked down hard on drug offenders and made a point to clean up our nation. The problem is that police only cracked down hard on drug offenders in poor minority communities. Soon after the prisons were flooded with young men of color and the prison industrial complex became big privatized business. Personally, I don't think this was a coincidence. Just looking at the numbers of people in this country, objectively, there have to be way more white criminals than black criminals. Unless, that is, you believe that black people are just inherently prone to criminal activities, something that has been drilled into the subconscious of the privileged white citizenry of America for a very long time.     Anyway, to wrap things up, again I agree with Tater123's comments that this is not some switch that poor people living in predominately minority communities can just turn on and off. I am definitely not condoning criminal behavior, drug use, and violent crime. But it is a reality that people growing up in situations like this face myriad problems that a white person growing up in a suburb does not have to deal with. Anyone who thinks they have the solution to this problem and can sum it up on a chat room comment board is a fool. The changes have to come from within the community where the problems exist with support from surrounding communities, government, non-profits groups, whatever. I don't have the answers but some of the racially charged rhetoric that flies around on these message boards is almost as frightening as the news reports of violence. If you truly want to make a difference, and actually care about the subject your commenting on, not just stroking your own ego, get out there and get involved. Even if its not your community that's having the problem, because one day it might be. This affects everyone living in this city, state, and country. P.S.- White Troll, what is your name a reference to?                                                                                                 MR.M

Dr. J
Dr. J

 You are stupid.  First off do you think poor people never thought to help their family?  Save money?  Not living where there is gangs?   Gangs follow poverty.  A poor person can't live in Eden Prairie, its expensive.  That's why they live in North Minneapolis you stupid bastard.  How fucking dumb are you?   Your advice to poor people is don't be poor.  Well that's something a stupid fucking idiot would say.   Oh, you have cancer old man?   Well JonnyBeStupid's advice is don't have cancer.  What are you?  an idiot?   You are seriously the stupidest person alive.  You should be ashamed to be as dumb as you are.  You are lucky you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth cause a dumb fuck like you would have been dead at 15 in the inner city.  You don't think poor people try to keep their kids away from gangs?   Gangs don't listen to reason.  Gangs don't do nice things.  Gangs fuck with people and do crime you stupid bastard.   You can do everything right how are you going to stop it when the kid whose parents did everything wrong decides he is going to shoot your kid when you did everything right?   What would you do then if you are really poor?  Your family won't help you.  You can't afford to move.  And crazy ass Joe is coming over tonight to shoot your kid?   Fucking idiot.

JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

Dr. J = ban all guns because gangs use them.  That's like saying we need to ban all cars because thugs steal them and drive illegally?  Should we ban every item that is on the black market?  A troubled kid is troubled because his parents neglected him, his community doesn't give a f*ck and all he has to rely upon is ghetto hip hop icons selling him a manufactured dream of gang lifestyle and riches.  If you are going to hold the gun companies accountable, hold the stupid pop manufactures that create hip hop gang thuggery.  But you are far too stupid in your rationale to contemplate this.  Why are there so many other poor kids out there not turning toward obtaining an illegal weapon, and then using it? If you understood the psychological reasons why these tramps shoot people, you could contribute to the cure. But since you want to blame companies that manufacture a product that is used 90% of the time in legitimate scenarios, your small mindedness restricts your thought.

JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

 And who created slavery - the African's were one of the first!

JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

 Dr. J has no idea about the world.  The fact that you are some fake person who thinks that it's ok to have kids when you are 12 and raise them in a community that thrive on crime and not realize it's cyclical affect, means you are very poorly educated.

JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

 Well Dr. J - I would have first asked for help from the family, to ensure that they were fed, housed, and lived in a safe area.  I would be in tune with my son to ensure he wasn't being placed at a family's home who had family members in gangs.  I would then ensure that I worked as much as possible to ensure a good education.  I would prohibit any family member that was in a gang to be in the same 15 square mile radius as my son.  I would not call myself a gangsta CEO and wannabe punk.  I would not live in an area where black gangs are shooting at each other.  I would not be associated with a culture that loves gangs, bitches, whores and drugs.  I would ensure that any family in a gang is given better advice to get out.  Failing that if I was the dad or mother (14/18 years of age), I would have given the kid up for adoption to get a better chance if I knew I couldn't make a difference.  Before that I would not be having sex at 14 or 12, and if I did I would be using contraception. We all have choices Dr. J - you just choose to use bigotry to highlight yours.  Many people pull themselves out of poverty! If you are too poor to raise a family - DON'T HAVE A FAMILY!  Does that make sense Dr. J? Or are you telling me that just doesn't make sense?

JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

 Are you stupid?  No legit company would have sold the guns to them - they were bought off the black market, stolen etc.  There are hundreds if not thousands of legit guns in this country and they are not being used to shoot at houses.  It's not the gun companies to blame it is the ghetto families that resort to ghetto gang life style.  You lack the comprehension that in order to pull that trigger, in order to build that motive, the black kids that were in gangs first had a deposition to violence and acceptability that this life is the life.  Number one to blame are the parents.  Number two to blame, are the parents, number three, the parents, number four, peers. Number five, Hip/hop.rap...

JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

 "Thirteen-, 14-, 15-year-old kids are shooting and doing this and that, because parents have lost their authority over the kids," said Will Wallace, a youth outreach worker who mentors gang members on the North Side. Wallace, who works with the North4 program that will include mentoring 60 kids ages 16 to 21 over the next two years, said it's about employment. -- so very much true - what were the parents thinking, oh we know - the father is a gangsta and is all sorry not that one of his got shot?  What is offensive about segregating those what do not care about the damage they inflict on innocent people?

Trayvon Kasel
Trayvon Kasel

Would you feel better if I offered to give several coloreds free room and board in exchange for them performing farm duties? My tractors are much more efficient and dependable so I'm just asking out of curiosity.  Also, what does being poor have to do with shooting 5 year olds for sport? All other races have poor people but 'Baby Shooting Olympics' tends to rival only basketball in black sports. 

Trayvon Kasel
Trayvon Kasel

How coincidental of Nizzel's father to admit paternity now that child support isn't an issue. 

Shizzel
Shizzel

" Head on over to the North Side and start being a slave master." It's exactly how Keith Ellison makes his living.

Shizzel
Shizzel

Anyone who names their kid Nizzel should be in prison.  Thug scum.

Tater123
Tater123

 Oh, no; nothing racist about the statement, "black people (mostly men) are inherently violent.  It is a fact."  Of course, nobody is talking about racism here, except you, who are spouting it.  This has to do with a lot more than racism.  But, as the rest of your comment demonstrates, you don't care about that anyway.  You're only posting here to get a rise out of people.  Bully for you.  You're boring.

Tater123
Tater123

 2 LIFETIMES, Troll, not 2 generations.  You've chosen the right handle, though.  And you don't refute my point at all.  I don't think a significant group of anybody enjoys/fosters "the criminal lifestyle."  The skills required to survive in violent street poverty are antithetical to long-term success in a modern society.  It takes a very long time; a lot of generations with examples of success to model from, to build that up.  It took my white European ancestors a long time too.

Big Meanie
Big Meanie

Well at least the little boy got a nice horse drawn carriage ride to his final resting home. It was lovely.

Al Westberg
Al Westberg

Thank you Jamica Holden helping to murder my friend Jamis Marks in 2008! Sorry your boy got killed last year. Please ignore the irony.

Jack Jenson
Jack Jenson

Blacks=crime and Welfare. FACT. Enough said.

MrGasso
MrGasso

I hear Elvis singing................"In the Ghetto..........................."

Jack Jenson
Jack Jenson

And let's just be honest here.  Everyone is crying about a 5-year-old boy who got shot to death.  Well, here is the reality.  This boy came from a mother who is a ho, and father who is a thug.  Even if this boy did not get shot, he would have taken after his baby daddy and would have ended up a thug criminal who would have been either shot to death before he was 20 years old or ended up in prison.  We should be celebrating his death!  It is one less future criminal on the street and one less Welfare check.  This is going to save tax-payers hundreds of thousands of dollars.  It is a good thing!!   

Jack Jenson
Jack Jenson

7 generations is about the time-span a typical black "family" have been living on Welfare.

Jeff_T
Jeff_T

What has slavery got to do with it... African's have been enslaving african's for years before "whites" did.

dr pepper
dr pepper

Every response to Dr. J's idiocy is just feeding the troll

LaughingGuy
LaughingGuy

boo! has got to win some kid of award for squeezing out the most whiney, tear squirting, self- pitying turd on CP comments - ever.

boo!
boo!

I am blown away by your pure stupidity and ignorance.  You MUST be a troll... please tell me its so.  How bout you do a little fuckin research, dude.  Do you think when our ancestors were brought here as slaves... we were all gang bangin'?!  We were brought to this retched country against our will so your lazy ass family could work more of the land they stole from our Native brothers and sisters.  And when we were "freed" we did not see freedom, but oppression.  We still have to deal with that shit in addition to assholes like yourself, who think you are better, smarter and more deserving of everything thing in life.  Your white people problems are laughable.  Trying dealin with half the shit ive dealt with.  Its all bout opportunities-EMPLOYMENT... and there is a vicious generational cycle that has created a HUGE fucking racial disparity in employment-YOUTH EMPLOYMENT TOO, that keeps on growing.  The racial disparities in health care, employment, education, housing... we could go on and on-the fact of the matter is, you will NEVER understand.  But it would be decent for you to attempt and show some fucking empathy.  Is that too much to ask?  Or are the lessons in history that were taught to you embedded so far in your pea size brain, prevent you from thinking for yourself?  Do  you question authority?  No, you are a sheep.  We are still in survival mode... past and present.  And until there are equal opportunities are TRUE...go jump in your lake, guy.  People like you should be put on talking restriction.  Permanently.  Or at least until you pick up a book and do a little research.  Word.  And Will Wallace is the most caring and hard working brother on the Northside. Dont twist his words you lil fucker.  Hes doing assholes like you a favor.  Hes gettin in there. Places that most wont dare. You wanna twist his words to benefit your point. Fuck off. Your point  is offensive.

Jack Jenson
Jack Jenson

Go look up black crime statistics....there is your answer right there.  But you are too blind to see facts.  Therefore you are a Liberal.

givemeabreak
givemeabreak

Ewwww.  You. Are. Gross. White people also commit crime.  White people are also on welfare. Get. A. Life. Pig.

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