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(UPDATED) Follow-Up: Man Charged In Cold Case Murder

Michael Joseph Scott, 44, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder for a gang-related shooting that occurred April 4, 1998 in the parking lot of Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman along with officers held to announce an arrest had been made in a 14-year-old murder case.

—one being murder for the benefit of a gang and the other intentional murder—in the April 4, 1998 shooting that one man dead and another man seriously wounded in the Richfield Chi-Chi’s parking lot. Officers determined the incident was the result of an ongoing feud between two rival gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Shotgun Crips.

According to an Associated Press story on TheRepublic.com, the man killed in the 1998 incident was 27-year-old Gilbert Toomer. The Hennepin County Attorney did not release the names of victims Thursday as this was a gang-related incident.

Freeman said the break in the case was due to good old-fashioned police work.

The following are the details from the criminal complaint charging Scott with the crimes:

First Contact

responded to a shooting call around 12:40 a.m. on April 4, 1998. Police found three men in the parking lot: one dead from apparent gun shot wounds, one seriously wounded and another "visibly shaken."

The wounded victim was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center, admitted in critical condition and then underwent emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to his right side. The man who was killed was shot twice in the face and also had leg wounds. An autopsy revealed that the bullet that entered the left jaw hit the carotid artery.

Officers interviewed two witnesses at the scene, who were both in their respective vehicles at the time of the shooting:

According to the complaint, the first witness stated he was approximately 50 feet away from the victims when he observed a black, 6-foot, 200-pound male exit a gray, 1997 or 1998 SUV. The witness said the individual walked toward the victims while yelling something unknown and then he heard five or six gunshots, after which the individual walked back to the SUV and drove away.

The second witness said she saw three individuals standing together, the complaint says. She then heard several gunshots fired, saw smoke from the gun in the area the three had been standing, however, the individuals had disappeared from her view. According to the complaint, she also further described a lighter colored SUV leaving the area.

Officers examined the victims’ car and saw seven impact areas where a bullet either directly hit or ricocheted and hit the vehicle, according to the complaint. A total of 10 .40-caliber bullet casings were found in all.

Police also interviewed the two surviving victims:

The victim who was wounded in the shooting said while in the restaurant, the other surviving victim made eye-contact with someone and said, “That’s the guy I shot in the chest months and months ago.” The three left and when they were getting ready to get in the vehicle, a black male pointed a gun at them.

According to the complaint, the wounded victim said the shooter pulled the trigger but the gun didn’t fire, but then pulled the slide back and began. He said he tried to crawl away but was shot in the side. The unwounded victim said he saw a white SUV speed off.

Informants

Following the shooting, a confidential reliable informant told law enforcement that “News”—who after a database search was wound to be an alias for Scott—and an accomplice carried out the Chi-Chi’s shooting. The database search also revealed Scott was involved with the Shotgun Crips gang. According to the complaint, the informant said the victim who survived with no wounds was the target because he had shot at Scott at the Riverview Supper Club during a rival gang altercation in November 1997.

Law enforcement discovered the unwounded victim had in fact been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm after the Riverview incident and that he is a member of the Gangster Disciples. Police knew the Disciples and Crips were rival gangs, according to the complaint.

In addition, an adult male who was incarcerated with Scott (when he was in federal prison for drugs) reported to law enforcement that Scott admitted to being the shooter and also said he was shooting at the victim he missed because he had shot at him.

Scott will have his first court appearance Friday, July 20.

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