Police say between 30 and 60 shots were fired outside of a Maplewood night club early Saturday morning, causing hundreds of people to flee the area and leaving five with gunshot injuries. Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said it started with an argument inside Stargate Nightclub, which ended with a shooting. That prompted everyone inside to flee the building.
“That erupted into further gunfire in the parking lot. And then as people got into vehicles – many just to leave to get out of the area – , these people who were shooting got into some of the vehicles,” he said. “And then shots were fired from vehicles. there was a crash that occured at the intersection of Rice and Larpenteur. And then it appears that there were some shots fired on the St. Paul side.”
Schnell said no arrests were made during the melee, because so many incidents were happening at the same time.
“It was very chaotic, really a dangerous situation,” he said, adding that one officer felt a bullet fly by his head. “And yet, when it was all done, it appears right now that five people were wounded by gunfire, and none of the injuries appear life threatening.”
The chief said police have descriptions of shooters, vehicle identifications and license plates, and bullet casings from the scene. Stargate has been the scene of several violent incidents, including in 2015 when a security guard at the club fatally shot a man after the man and friends were asked to leave the club and attacked the guard. Schnell says the owner of the club just met with Maplewood City staff and council members who are concerned about safety and security at the club, and they’re scheduled to meet again.
“We had been intending to bring him before the city council on the 27th of February to look at perhaps some sanctions and increasing some conditions,” Schnell said. “Obviously this incident will elevate the significance of that meeting with the council.”
Guam Highway Patrol officers close off Marine Corps Drive in Piti to investigate a crash Saturday morning. John I. Borja and Masako Watanabe/PDN
Guam Police Department Highway Patrol Division Officer James Muna marks the spot where a red Acura came to rest after a crash off of Route 1 in Piti early morning on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (Photo: Masako Watanabe/PDN)
The male driver of a red 2003 Acura died after an early morning crash on Route 1 in Piti Saturday. The vehicle crashed off the road around 3:24 a.m., and the driver was pronounced dead at Naval Hospital Guam at 3:55 a.m., said Capt. Kim Santos, Guam Police Department spokeswoman. The single-car crash took place just north of the intersection with Route 11, the road leading to the Commercial Port.
Witness: Car went airborne
At the scene, the mangled Acura RSX, also known as the Integra in Japan, lay on its side, just off the northbound lane. G4S security guard Jesse Abian on his first night on the job at the GTA property nearby, said he heard the sound of a skidding car approaching from the south, and looked up in time to see the northbound car pass him, strike a GTA building and flip. The car hit a concrete block off the sidewalk, went airborne and bounced off the building’s wall, he said. The car came to rest about 200 feet away from where Abian was, he said. The guard ran to the car and found a man hanging upside down from the vehicle’s frame. He said he tried to talk to the driver, who was unresponsive but still breathing.
“I was trying to talk to him but he didn’t respond,” Abian said. “I saw a lot of blood there.” The driver appeared to have been wearing a seatbelt, the guard said. Parts from the car, including the engine, were found as far as 150 feet away from the car’s final resting spot. The security guard said that the man was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
“I was just freaking out myself. It’s the first time I saw something like this.”
Abian said he was sitting in his parked vehicle, keeping an eye on the GTA facility. Had he parked where he originally planned, he would have been in the direct path of the crashing Acura.
“Something told me not to park there,” he said.
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Tire marks were visible on the roadway stretching several hundred feet, starting around the traffic light to the Commercial Port road. The marks crossed into the median and curved right. Highway Patrol Division officers marked the scene and took measurements. The vehicle hit the GTA Piti cable landing station, an ongoing project, according to a posted sign. Heavy equipment and construction markers surrounded a taller building behind the one-story structure the vehicle struck. GTA Security Specialist Raynaldo Tanayan said project was slated for completion this month. The road was closed for several hours while police conducted the on-site investigation.
As of Saturday afternoon, GPD did not identify the driver pending notification of kin.
Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story. The Pacific Daily News will update the story as more information becomes available.
Other auto-related fatalities this year:
3-year-old struck by vehicle, dies of injuries, says GPD
58-year-old struck by car, dies
Worker in manhole dies after crash in Tamuning
Talofofo man suffers heart attack while driving, dies
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After years of declining numbers, hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are rising exponentially. But good statistics are hard to come by. After years of declining numbers, hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are rising exponentially. A report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations found that crimes targeting Asian Americans tripled in that county between 2014 and 2015. In addition, the FBI found that the number of hate crimes against Muslim communities rose dramatically between 2014 and 2015 (67 percent). That’s the biggest increase of any other group listed in the Hate Crimes Report. However, national statistics on hate crimes against people who fall under the AAPI label are still scanty. Two days before the inauguration, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), a civil and human rights nonprofit, launched a website to rectify the issue. The website, standagainsthatred.org, documents hate incidents and crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by tracking stories about hate incidents received from people around the country. The stories are vetted by AAJC staff and posted anonymously.
“We’ve always recognized that hate incidents have been an issue,” said AAJC executive director John Yang. “We realized that we really needed a better tracking tool.”
Documented hate crimes against Asian Americans extend as far back as the 1800s when the white supremacist group, Arsonists of the Order of Caucasians, murdered four Chinese men who they blamed for taking away jobs from white workers, by tying them up, dousing them with kerosene, and setting them on fire. In 1987, a Jersey City gang who called themselves the “Dotbusters” vowed to drive Indians out of Jersey City by vandalizing Indian owned businesses. They used bricks to bludgeon a young South Asian male into a coma. In a headline-grabbing case, two men from Queens, NY were charged with a hate crime for attacking four Asian men, including one left with a possible fractured skull in a then predominantly white neighborhood. “There’s an undercurrent of suspicion of the new immigrant what are they doing, what are they building, what are they putting in that store?” Susan Seinfeld, the district manager, told The New York Times at the time. In recent years, law enforcement bias has also surfaced: in 2014, video footage showed an NYPD cruiser running over and killing 24-year-old Japanese American student Ryo Oyamada. The court later ruled in favor of the police department, stating that the incident was unavoidable. In January of this year, a 60-year-old Chinese American man playing Pokemon Go in his car at night was shot and killed by a security guard in Chesapeake, Virginia. The guard was charged with murder.
Hate crimes targeting AAPI often stem from the fact that they’re seen as the “perpetual foreigner,” said Yang. That anti-foreign sentiment has only increased under the new administration, he said. In one of the stories posted on the new AAJC website, an older white gentleman approached an Asian American woman in downtown San Francisco and pretended to hit her over the head with a book, yelling, “I hate your f*cking race. We’re in charge of this country now.” The anonymous submission added, “He was not intoxicated.” In another entry, a Muslim teacher in Georgia was told to “hang herself” with her headscarf.
As disturbing as these stories are, they often don’t show up in national data, said Yang. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders frequently underreport hate incidents because they feel intimidated by law enforcement or afraid of being seen as overly sensitive. Unfortunately, their silence on the issue makes them an even more attractive target for hate crimes. Racially motivated incidents that are reported are often filed as generic offenses and don’t show up in national data about hate crimes.
AAJC plans to share data gathered from its website with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate crimes through its Hate Map and Hatewatch blog. The Center began segmenting out their hate-crime numbers for Asian Americans last December and relies on grassroots organizations like AAJC for that data.
“We need to raise public awareness that hate incidents against AAPI are not one-off incidents. They happen in much greater numbers than we’d like to admit,” said Yang.
- ^ A report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (www.lahumanrelations.org)
- ^ Hate Crimes Report (ucr.fbi.gov)
- ^ standagainsthatred.org (www.standagainsthatred.org)
- ^ headline-grabbing case (www.nytimes.com)
- ^ running over and killing 24-year-old Japanese American student Ryo Oyamada (gothamist.com)
- ^ The guard was charged with murder. (www.washingtonpost.com)
- ^ Hate Map (www.splcenter.org)