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UPDATED: Man Charged In 1998 Chi-Chi's Gang Related Shooting, Murder

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said it was "good old-fashioned" police work that led to the charges.

Fourteen years after a shooting in the Richfield Chi-Chi's restaurant parking lot, that left one man dead and another seriously wounded, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office has charged a Brooklyn Center man.

Michael Joseph Scott, 44, was charged with two felony counts of second-degree murder, one being murder for the benefit of a gang and the other intentional murder.

According to the criminal complaint, responded to a shooting call around 12:40 a.m. 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."

After taking victim and witness statements that night and examining other information collected over the last 14 years, officers determined the shooting was the result of an ongoing feud between two rival gangs, the Shotgun Crips and the Gangster Disciples.

The intended target of Scott's gunfire was not the man who died, according to the complaint. The victim who escaped injury that April night, a member of the Disciples, had previously shot at Scott at the Riverview Supper Club in November 1997.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said during that Scott had been a suspect in the Chi-Chi's incident, however, there wasn't substantial evidence for an arrest—until now.

Freeman also said many may be wondering why a break in a 14-year-old case is news. His answer: "Law enforcement never sleeps. ... The [ officers] standing behind me are the answer."

Freeman said good old-fashioned police work on the part of the and specifically Detective Patrick Moriarty's dedication, brought enough evidence to make the arrest and bring the charges.

"In this case, we didn't have new DNA [show up]," Freeman said. "They never gave up on this case."

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 Scott's first hearing is scheduled for Friday, July 20. Scott remains in Hennepin County Jail.

***

See Richfield Patch's for a detailed account of the police department's criminal complaint.

Amalia De Lima July 20, 2012 at 06:04 AM
Is there gang related problems in Richfield now?
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) July 20, 2012 at 07:11 AM
You know that is a great question. I don't know the exact answer to that. Each city, I'm sure, has some element. I'll check in with the PD and get back to you.
tmf July 20, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Crime is every where small towns to!!
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) July 20, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Very true, tmf. @Amalia - haven't found anything out yet, but I should mention that the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman did say that gangs in general are harder to control now. He said at the time of this incident, gangs were more organized and the participants were older. He even shuttered at using the word "responsible" to describe gangs of years ago. Now, he said gang members are younger, and, well, more trigger happy.
Amalia De Lima July 21, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Very interesting, to say the least. Caitlyn , thank you for taking the time to answer my question.
Amalia De Lima July 21, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Tmf , I am from CA and visited Richfield , I found it to be charming. I may be moving there soon .
Amalia De Lima July 21, 2012 at 06:13 AM
Gangs are a big problem here, I hope to get away and find a nice place to raise my kids.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) July 21, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Hi Amalia, I grew up in Richfield and now cover it for my job. Of course every town has crime, but I would venture to say that I believe this to be a safe community. I'll keep working on finding more info on gangs in the area.
Dafne August 04, 2012 at 08:10 PM
@ Amalia, I work in Richfield and live in Burnsvile but moving over to the Burnsville/Bloomington Area. Having lived in Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, South Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Burnsville, and Hopkins, I can vouch that Richifled is not a bad area. That being said, the crime in South Minneapolis has risen which is where I was raised and the reason I moved out of there. Brooklyn Park and North Minneapolis are the worst areas for gang related activity. Hopkins isn't too good either. But I would recommend Burnsville, which is lovely, Richfield, Edina or St. Louis Park. . Although Coon Rapids is nice, it is pretty far away from the city and didn't have as much around it as Burnsville does. That is my two cents. I also have family that live in Richfield and Edina, so really am always over in those neck of the woods!
Dafne August 04, 2012 at 08:11 PM
@ Amalia, I work in Richfield and live in Burnsvile but moving over to the Burnsville/Bloomington Area. Having lived in Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, South Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Burnsville, and Hopkins, I can vouch that Richifled is not a bad area. That being said, the crime in South Minneapolis has risen which is where I was raised and the reason I moved out of there. Brooklyn Park and North Minneapolis are the worst areas for gang related activity. Hopkins isn't too good either. But I would recommend Burnsville, which is lovely, Richfield, Edina or St. Louis Park. . Although Coon Rapids is nice, it is pretty far away from the city and didn't have as much around it as Burnsville does. That is my two cents. I also have family that live in Richfield and Edina, so really am always over in those neck of the woods!

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