Bloomington Police Chief Clay Wheeler said Tuesday that investigators have no evidence of a connection between the fatal shooting on Orchard Road in the early morning hours of June 10 and two other recent fatal shootings in the Twin Cities.
“I know that people in the community have felt that because we had these incidents in such close proximity to each other that they had to be related,” Wheeler said. “At this time we don’t have anything to support that.”
BPD on Tuesday announced the arrest of Hammet Brown, 26, of Bloomington, in the shooting deaths of Taneshiea C. Brown, 20, and Steven C. Alexander, 18, both of Bloomington. He faces six counts of first-degree murder for their deaths and two charges of attempted murder for allegedly shooting and injuring Kenleia Sims and Tyree Jones.
Wheeler said the defendant is not related to any of the victims, and the conditions of Sims and Jones are not available.
Wheeler said Brown was arrested without incident in Chicago on Tuesday by officers from the Chicago Police Department and the U.S. Marshal’s office where Wheeler said Brown had fled.
Court records show an arrest warrant for Brown was issued June 14. Police chose not to alert the public they had a suspect at large.
“Sometimes it might be safer and more time efficient for us to (search for a suspect) without sharing that information,” Wheeler said. “Sometimes we might make the decision that it is necessary to ask the public for help in that matter.”
Wheeler added the public has been helping in the investigation, but he declined to give specifics. The shooting happened at 1221 Orchard Road during a large gathering, next door to Brown’s residence.
“This is absolutely a crime that we couldn’t get to without the help of the public,” Wheeler said.
He urged anyone with additional information on the case to contact detectives Steve Fanelli at (309) 434-2457 or Paul Swanlund at (309) 434-2373.
Brown is due in McLean County court for a 1 p.m. Wednesday custody hearing. He is being held on a $3 million bond.
Wheeler said having two murder investigations ongoing at the same time has been a drain on staff and resources. He was quick to direct his attention toward the families suffering through the loss of loved ones.
“It feels kind of wrong to stand up here too much and talk about what we went through because it’s nothing compared to what they have," Wheeler said.
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