Friday, March 24, 2006

Student Member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth Shot Dead

(WCCO) Minneapolis Minneapolis Police are reviewing videotape from security cameras after a shooting in the Uptown neighborhood over the weekend.

Michael Zebuhr, 25, was shot in the head in the 3100 block of Girard Avenue around 10 p.m. Saturday.

Zebuhr died late Sunday night at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Zebuhr was a graduate student at Clemson University in South Carolina. He dreamed of working at NASA.

Zebuhr also loved mountain biking, math and science.

Police said on Saturday night, Zebuhr was walking to a parked car with family members, when robbers approached them and demanded his mother's purse. She gave it to the gunmen without any resistance.

One gunman shot Zebuhr twice in the head. Police said the shooting appeared to be cold-blooded and unprovoked.

Police are hoping for a break in the case. Several security cameras were pointed in the direction where the shooting happened and police are now reviewing those tapes.

Uptown's usual upbeat atmosphere remains on edge with no suspects in the case.

"It's a definite shock," said Erik Pehrson, an Uptown shop employee. "I'll be walking ladies to their cars at night when they get off late."

A manager of another store said she'll be paying for employees to park at a parking ramp because at a ramp, at least there are a few extra sets of eyes keeping watch.

Which is the same reason one community leader wants parking on the street to be restricted to residents. He reasoned it would force late-night visitors to play it safe.

"People patronizing the Hennepin-Lake bars and restaurants (should) park in the ramps where security could be a little more controlled," Jeff Farnam said.

For an area filled with around-the-clock visitors and residents, Saturday's violence is shattering. Residents and businesses said police presence isn't an issue in Uptown.

"We have pushed all the possible officers out on the street," said Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief Sharon Lubinski. "We have 76 percent of officers in department on the street."

She said that although the shooting is a tragedy, it was very unusual and similar crimes rarely happen in that area.

Neighborhood residents have already taken steps to do what they can to make it safer.

Christine Devens is with the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group.

"Because of increasing concern for these types of crimes, our neighborhood, the CARAG neighborhood, has gotten together to form what we call the CARAG stroll patrol or a neighborhood walking group," Devens said.

Devens and other neighbors said the rising rate in burglaries and robberies in the area has given them concern.

"They did everything right so it is really concerning," Devens said.

According to officials, burglary is up 14 percent and robbery is up 43 percent compared to one year ago.

"It's surprising and it's tragic, but my response isn't one of fear," resident David Johnson said.

Most residents said they feel safe, despite the recent problem, but that doesn't mean they're not taking extra precautions now.

"The more people out on the streets, making it a lively place ... hanging out, meeting each other, getting to know each other," Johnson said. "I think it's great. It's got a great benefit of making it safer too, but I think it's just part of what makes life great here."

Local businesses are now paying for additional security to patrol the area.

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