Homicide reported at Minneapolis homeless camp scheduled for removal

A man was shot to death at a large Minnesota homeless encampment, days before it was scheduled to be removed.

The shooting was reported around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at the encampment known as Camp Nenookaasi in Minneapolis. The 45-year-old victim suffered several gunshot wounds and was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name has not been released.

A man suspected in the shooting was arrested near the encampment and a gun was recovered, police spokesperson Aaron Rose said at a news briefing. A second man also was arrested but it wasn’t immediately clear why. No charges had been filed as of Wednesday morning.

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After the shooting, police temporarily dispersed people from the encampment and brought in a Metro Transit bus to provide warmth and shelter on a night when the temperature was in the 20s. It wasn’t immediately clear if the residents have been allowed to return. A message left with police on Wednesday morning wasn’t immediately returned.

The encampment recently had around 180 people living there, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The city had planned to close it on Dec. 7 but reconsidered and allowed it to remain open until Dec. 19.

The encampment has both supporters and detractors. While some say that people living there have no place else to go, others worry about crime and dangerous living conditions. A fetus was found dead at the same encampment in October, and it was the site of another shooting in the past month.

Several supporters of the encampment appeared at a recent public hearing to oppose its closure. A majority of City Council members last week asked Mayor Jacob Frey to wait until February to shut it down. The Star Tribune reported that the delay until Dec. 19 was granted in part because 52 occupants were set to move into housing by Monday.

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