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Violence Erupts After Shooting

May 8, 1992

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Police officers were pelted with rocks and bricks and a TV news reporter and cameraman were beaten Thursday night by a crowd of 500 angered over false rumors that police had shot a 15-year-old boy.

Two other people were shot during the violence and at least two homes were set on fire, police said.

The melee began after the teen was shot in northern Minneapolis, police said. Rumors flew that police had shot him, but eyewitnesses said he was shot by a man after he rode his bicycle across the man’s lawn.

Twin Cities station KMSP-TV sent reporter Julia Sandidge and cameraman Rod Wermager to the scene.

″Somebody grabbed our camera, hit him on the head, knocked him down,″ Sandige said. ″A large crowd of people tried to kick him, I tried to stop them, and when I did, someone hit me in the head and somebody kicked me in the face.″

Community leaders helped police calm the crowd down.

″If it wouldn’t have been for that group of common people ... they got the crowd to stand back,″ said Deputy Chief Dave Dobrotka. ″We got the situation under control with 15 officers. It would have taken 100 to control that scene without them.″

Sandidge and Wermager were hospitalized in stable condition Thursday night, said KMSP news director Penny Parrish. She said Sandidge had a broken nose and a possible concussion, and Wermager was knocked unconscious.

The 15-year-old boy had multiple gunshot wounds and was hospitalized in serious condition. Two other men were hospitalized with gunshot wounds, one in serious condition and the other in good condition.

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