An Owatonna man is charged with attempted murder in relation to a November shooting in Brooklyn Park which wounded two people. Officials believe the shooting is tied to gang activity, according to court records.
Cortinez Armoney Powell, 23, has been charged in Hennepin County Court with two count of attempted first-degree murder in connection to an incident that occurred in Brooklyn Park Nov. 30. Powell was arrested and booked in the Hennepin County Jail Friday.
According to court documents, which include testimonies given to the Brooklyn Park Police Department by multiple victims, the events transpired as follows:
On the night of Nov. 30, the Brooklyn Park Police Department was dispatched to a report of several gunshots and someone being shot. The responding officers located a vehicle on the shoulder of County Road 81, just south of 694, riddled with bullet holes on the passenger’s side.
Two victims were located inside the vehicle with multiple bullet wounds. The driver was shot in the right leg, right arm, left elbow and behind his right ear. The front seat passenger had bullet wounds to his head, arm, leg and back. A subsequent medical examination would reveal the front seat passenger had been struck nine times by the gun fire. Both victims were conscious when the officers arrived.
While processing the scene, police located 29 discharged 9mm cartridge casings. Forensic analysis of the cases would eventually link the firearms to numerous other shooting incidents in the Minneapolis area. The officers also located a baseball hat in the middle of the road that they believe to belong to Powell. The DNA analysis on the hat is still pending.
Two other passengers were in the back seat of the vehicle during the shooting, but were not wounded.
The front seat passenger told the police they belonged to a criminal street gang called “TFS Label,” which sides with the “Highs” affiliation of the criminal street gangs in Minneapolis. According to their statements, they had been arguing with rival “Lows” gang affiliates over Facebook, leading him to receive a threatening direct message.
According to the testimony of the front seat passenger, the four individuals left his home in Crystal on Nov. 30 and noticed two vehicles parked in a peculiar location outside his house. As they headed north on County Road 81, the victim said it became obvious the vehicles were following them. As they approached an intersection, the victim said gunshots were fired from both the suspect vehicles before they sped away.
The other three occupants of the vehicle gave consistent accounts of the incident.
According to the criminal complaint, a search of the front seat passenger’s phone revealed he had communication with Powell on Nov. 29 that appeared to reference gang-related issues and the possibility of future gunfire.
The investigation has been complex and is ongoing, in part due to the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network – or NIBIN – investigation leads that were generated form the casings at the scene. However, working with the Minneapolis Police Department gangs investigators, Brooklyn Park investigators were able to narrow down suspects in the shooting to Powell and five other Lows affiliates: Savion Samuel Reeves-Crittenden (18), Stephon Leron Parker-Rouse (23), and Donta Jaboat Brown (27), all of Minneapolis, as well as Cinque Daprice Owens (26) of New Brighton and Diamonte Lattrel Morris (21). There is no available place of residence for Morris.
On Dec. 3, Minneapolis officers located Brown and Parker-Rouse as they were attempted to get into a vehicle and a foot chase ensured. Parker-Rouse tossed a 9mm handgun during the chase, according to the police report, and both men were apprehended.
In a recorded, post-Miranda interview, Parker-Rouse admitted the following:
The five suspects are members of the SUB criminal street gang and the group had been “terrorizing the city” on the night of the Brooklyn Park shooting. The group defaced a memorial to a rival gang member and then went to a home in Crystal to initiate a hit on an opposing gang member. Parker-Rouse clarified they intended to kill this person.
With the exception of Brown, Parker-Rouse said they were all armed with 9mm handguns.
Parker-Rouse stated he followed the vehicle driven by Owens to the Crystal home and to follow the victims’ vehicle. He said he saw Owens pull up alongside the victims’ vehicle and the occupants of both vehicles exchanged gunfire. Parker-Rouse said he saw Powell shoot across Owens from the passenger’s seat. When the victims’ vehicle began to swerve, Parker-Rouse said he pulled up alongside it and they began firing at the victims’ from his vehicle.
According to court documents, Parker-Rouse said following the shooting, Powell had indicated that he lost his hat at the scene. He indicated the group believed they had successfully killed rival gang members.
During a post-Miranda recorded interview with Powell, police records show Powell did not deny being present during the shooting and at one point commented, “I would rather just do my time.”
Bail without conditions was set for Powell at $1 million. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 12. Powell has a pervious 2015 felony conviction for first-degree aggravated robbery in Hennepin County.
Reeves-Crittenden, Parker-Rouse, Brown, and Owens have all received the same charges in connection to the shooting.