Stabbing, shots fired, and 50 people brawl as ‘Somali Culture Night’ held at high school in Minneapolis

A Thursday evening event held at Washburn High School in Minneapolis, located in an upscale neighborhood, was planned as a “Minnesota nice” event, celebrating diversity and the arrival over the last 3 decades of a Somali immigrant community that now comprises almost one-fifth of the city’s population. A video on the school’s website offered free admission and free food.

But as the event unfolded in the school’s auditorium,  it turned into a nightmare. Alpha News reports:

Mayhem erupted at a south Minneapolis high school Thursday evening during a planned Somali cultural event and performance that resulted in fights, a stabbing, and shots fired.

According to dispatch audio at the time, one person was reportedly stabbed around 7:45 p.m. during a fight involving about 50 people at Washburn High School located at 201 West 49th Street.

As police arrived to respond to the fight, an officer called out over the air that shots had been fired, and a city-wide officer help call was toned by the dispatcher. Several squads responded from across the city as well as state troopers, Hennepin County deputies, and officers from Edina and Richfield police departments.

Two videos of the stabbing, taken from different angles, were posted to Twitter:       


Twitter video screengrab (cropped)

I grew up in the same area of the city more than half a century ago, and Washburn High was known for high academic and athletic standards. I never heard of anything remotely resembling this incident. But that was a different era, and ethnically a different city.

Washburn High School posted a statement on their website on Friday addressing the incident in which they confirmed that one person was stabbed in the auditorium after a fight broke out, and another person was injured when the fight continued outside.

They also said that both the stabbing suspect and the shots fired suspect had been arrested. Information was not able to be immediately obtained to confirm whether one of the two suspects initially detained turned out to be the stabbing suspect.

The school’s principal vows that another Somali Culture Night will held next year/.



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