A fun Saturday night out on the town took a tragic turn in St. Paul, Minnesota, where a shootout inside a busy bar left one woman dead and at least 14 others injured. Police say people began “frantically” calling 911 shortly after midnight Sunday morning asking for help and officers arrived to find a “chaotic scene,” St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said. Three men who were among the injured have been arrested. Once they are discharged from the hospital, the men, who are aged between 29 and 33, will be booked into Ramsey County Jail.
The Seventh Street Truck Park was crowded “when multiple individuals decided to pull out guns, with no regard for human life, and pull the trigger,” said Steve Linders, police spokesman. “I think about the poor woman who was just out enjoying herself. One minute she’s dancing, smiling and laughing, and the next she’s dying in her friend’s arms.” When police arrived, they were stunned at the number of people who had been wounded. “There were gunshot wound victims lying in the street outside the bar, gunshot wound victims lying on the sidewalk outside the bar, and gunshot wound victims lying on the floor inside the bar,” Linders said.
Axtell said he couldn’t recall of a single shooting in the incident with this many victims since he first became an officer in 1989. The woman who died at the scene, 27-year-old Marquisha Wiley, was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire when gunshots were fired at people who were behind her. “My heart breaks for the woman who was killed, her loved ones and everyone else who was in that bar this morning,” Axtell said. “In an instant, they found themselves caught in a hellish situation.”
The DJ who was working that night, Peter Parker, said this was the first time he’s had to dive off stage to avoid gunfire. “I’ve never had anybody shoot inside a party ever,” he said. “Especially in a place we felt was a very safe place.” Parker said he didn’t see any kind of argument that could have led anyone to believe a shooting was about to break out. “It was a fun night and then it went horribly left abruptly. Nobody could’ve anticipated what happened,” he said. “It happened in a way that didn’t really make sense. All I heard was mad shots.” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter issued a statement saying the city is “devastated by the shocking scenes from last night.”