Two soldiers in the Minnesota National Guard suffered minor injuries on Sunday after they were fired upon in a drive-by shooting in Minneapolis.
Officials said several shots were fired at Minneapolis police officers and Minnesota National Guard soldiers from a light-colored SUV at around 4:19 a.m.
“One of the bullets penetrated the Humvee with soldiers inside of it,” Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Harris told WCCO, a local CBS affiliate.
One soldier sustained superficial wounds while another suffered shattered glass injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Both are now back on duty, a Guard spokesman said.
“I am relieved to know none of our guardsmen were seriously injured,” said Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, the adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. “This event highlights the volatility and tension in our communities right now. I ask for peace as we work through this difficult time.”
About 3,000 Guardsmen are providing security in the Twin Cities metro area as part of Operation Safety Net. The joint law enforcement effort was established “to protect people, freedom of speech and property” during the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd. Video from the scene on May 25, 2020, showed that Floyd, 46, died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes.
Defense attorneys for Chauvin began delivering closing arguments on Monday. Attorney Eric Nelson urged jurors to consider what happened before Chauvin came on the scene, where the officer saw Floyd “actively resisting” other officers as they tried to get him into a police cruiser.
Tensions are high in the Twin Cities and beyond ahead of a verdict, with protests expected locally and throughout the United States. Members of the Guard, who are members of the local community, stand in the middle of it.
“We’re just there to support the community,” Pfc. Marisa Martinez told WCCO. “We’re there to show that we’re here to protect you, we’re here to protect the city and making sure that nothing wrong happens.”
Feature image: A photo of a National Guard Humvee following a drive-by shooting incident in Minneapolis on April 18. (Minnesota National Guard)