'Change in attitude' needed after July 4 violence in Minneapolis - KMSP-TV

'Change in attitude' needed after July 4 violence in Minneapolis

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For many, the Fourth of July holiday was filled with back yard barbecues and fireworks -- but the holiday weekend was a deadly one in Minneapolis, and community leaders say it's not possible to arrest the problem away.

MORE: 2 dead, 4 injured in 3 north Minneapolis shootings

The mother of one of the victims of the deadly shootings that took place on the city's north side now calls the Fourth of July the "saddest day of her life." The 28-year-old father of five was shot in the chest at a cookout, an act of violence his aunt can only describe as "senseless."

"He loved to cook. He was Chef Cabrie -- that he was," Vivian Lott, the victim's aunt, told Fox 9 News. "He cooked all the time. He enjoyed it."

Lott said her nephew, Cabrie Young, was just trying to do the right thing on the day that he died.

"He was at a BBQ and there was a fight," she explained. "He was trying to break the fight up, and the guys came back and shot him."

Hours later, police arrested Joseph Lee Smith -- one of two other men who were injured in the shootout -- but that won't stop Young's wife from being widowed and his children from a life without their father.

"It's reached a point now where you don't have to be in a gang or live in a bad community to have such a thing happen to you or some member of your family," Pastor Harding Smith, of Minnesota Acts Now, told Fox 9 News.

Young was one of two people killed in three separate shootings over the weekend. Francesca Desandre, 24, was shot and killed at about 5 a.m. on Saturday morning in front of her home near North 26th Avenue and North 3rd Street. Police are still looking for a suspect in her death, and city leaders are starting to speak out.

"We've seen a few more of these lately and it's hard to take," City Councilman Blong Yang, who represents Ward 5, told Fox 9 News. "It's heartbreaking."

Although Yang says more police are always needed, he doubts they would be able to stop the violence. Smith, meanwhile, openly admits that police can't arrest the problem away -- but he says the solution can be found in a change of attitude.

"This is an everyday occurrence where communities are becoming desensitized to violence," he said.

So far this year, 16 people have been murdered in Minneapolis -- 11 on the north side alone, but Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said on Twitter that the issue "isn't about one part of Minneapolis, or one or two or three neighborhoods."

"This is about our entire city and all our neighborhoods," she wrote in a series of tweets following the fatal 48-hour period. "It is my work, the work of the city, and the work of all of us as a community to continue pursuing every option to create conditions that foster public safety at every level."

Hodges urged residents to pray for those affected by the shootings and ended her Twitter statement with a rallying call to "continue to do the footwork to make sure we all stay safe now and in the future."

As for Young's family, they are working to try to cope with their loss. His mother told Fox 9 News she went to speak with the family that hosted the party where her son died to say that she forgives them. Yet, even though charges are expected in the next couple of days, the grief will linger.

"He was such a beautiful person and his smile and his laughter will definitely be missed," Lott said. "We're torn. We are very torn from this."

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