ST. PAUL —Seven people were injured in a string of shootings overnight in St. Paul, including a shootout between two groups and gunplay at a large house party where more than 100 shots were fired.

Three separate shootings involved nearly 150 shots fired and bullets striking vehicles and buildings. One bullet soared across Interstate 94 from Central Avenue and struck Rondo Elementary School, authorities said. None of the people shot received life-threatening injuries, police said. Four of the seven victims were women.

Police gave the following details:


The first shooting incident occurred shortly after 11:30 p.m. Saturday, May 1, when police were called to the 500 block of Central Avenue.

They found two men, ages 25 and 26, standing by their vehicles. The men said three men had approached them, pulled out guns and started shooting.

The two men, both of whom had valid gun permits, returned fire.

No one was injured, but six parked vehicles were hit by bullets. One bullet traveled south across I-94 and struck Rondo Elementary School. Police recovered dozens of shell casings at the scene.

Gas station

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The next shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. when officers patrolling near Rice Street and West Pennsylvania Avenue heard a volley of gunfire and found several people shot at a Holiday gas station on the 600 block of Rice Street.

Two of the gunshot victims were taken to the hospital by ambulance, and a third was taken by a private vehicle. All are expected to survive.

House party

Thirty minutes later, police were called to 843 Selby Ave. after gunfire rang out at a house party where more than 100 people were gathered.

Several parked vehicles and buildings were struck, and more than 100 shell casings were found outside the residence.

Shortly after, four gunshot victims showed up at the hospital, including a 33-year-old woman, a 38-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man. Details on the fourth victim were not available, but all four had injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Community leaders, including the St. Paul police chief and mayor, came together Sunday afternoon at a news conference near one of the shooting locations to decry the violence and plead with the community to come forward and help investigators find the shooters.

“We’re here not just to respond to (last night’s shootings) but to respond to a cycle of violence that have occurred in our community for far too long, for too many months, too many years, too many generations,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said.

As he stood near 843 Selby Ave., the scene of the house party, Carter noted that as a child he lost a cousin two blocks away over “something meaningless.”

“If we accept this type of violence in our community, if we accept people shooting guns in our community, then we all know that it’s only a matter of time before those crises come right to our own home, right to our own family, right to our own doorstep,” he said.

Carter asked for anyone who knew anything about the shootings to come forward to police. He said that even though some people might say those who come forward are snitches, that is not what they are.

“What I call it is protecting our community,” he said. “What I call it is protecting our children. What I call it is protecting our seniors. I call it protecting our homes and our neighborhoods that are important and valuable to us. What I call it is protecting those young people because we know that these events play out as cycles too often.”

St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said that people who weren’t part of the solution were part of the problem when it came to gun violence in St. Paul.

“It’s horrific. It’s unacceptable. And we all need to do better. We need our entire community to step up,” he said.

“I want you to know, I want St. Paul to understand that all hands are on deck,” Axtell added. “We will not rest until we find everyone responsible for pulling these triggers in our city,” he said. “Again over 150 shell casings, seven people injured by gunfire last night in St. Paul. I’ve been on this job in St. Paul for 32 years and I’ve never seen this happen before.”

The Rev. Runney Patterson of New Hope Church joined other leaders at the news conference in pleading for the community to not retaliate. “Use your head, not your hands,” he said.

Patterson also encouraged people to come forward and help officers with the investigation. “If you saw something, say something.”

At least a dozen residents attended the news conference. One woman told Carter that one of the bullets fired last night ended up in her bedroom and that she would never allow her granddaughter to visit her again.

“I know what that feels like to wake up with a bullet hole in the wall above my bed,” Carter said.

A reporter asked Carter if he felt safe standing in St. Paul on Sunday.

“I do feel safe,” Carter said. “This is the city I grew up in. This is the community I grew up in. This is the street I go to my neighborhood coffee shop and my neighborhood barbershop. And I do feel safe and comfortable in our city. We also know that while we have public safety outcomes that surpass most other cities our size, the one shot fired is one too many and that 100 shots fired is far too many. What happened last night is something we can never accept and that we are going to keep all options on the table and take every step necessary to eliminate these cycles.”

All the shootings remained under investigation Sunday.