Three men have been arrested and are being treated for wounds sustained in the shootout at a nearby hospital. They have not been charged or publicly named, though two of them are reportedly convicted felons.
Police responded to multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired at the Seventh Street Truck Park shortly after midnight on Oct. 10.
According to eyewitnesses in the bar, the shooting began with little warning.
“Everybody was having fun and singing along,” Peter Mazalewski, a DJ at the bar the bar told CNN. “Then 12:15 a.m., abrupt, with no arguments or fighting, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And everybody hit the ground. I had to reach up and shut the music off while they were still shooting. I thought the music would add to the chaos.”
Patrons and staff dove to the floor for cover. “It was just gunshots. It was like maybe 10 shots,” eyewitness DeMarco Percy told local reporters. “As you look around, everyone’s on the ground like, ‘I’m hit! I’m hit!’ There’s a couple people who were hit. You’re kind of checking yourself making sure you’re OK.”
Percy said that Marquisha D Wiley was right next to him when she was fatally shot. “Prayers to the family that lost someone, and prayers to the people sitting in the hospital right now,” he said.
Upon arrival, authorities entered a “hellish situation,” Steve Linders, a spokesperson for the St. Paul Police Department.
Finding victims inside and outside the bar, police “worked with good Samaritans to render aid” to the wounded, city officials said.
“This is nothing short of a tragedy,” said Linders. “We had people in the City of St. Paul, out on a Saturday night having a good time. And we had other people who decided to pull guns, with reckless disregard for human life, and pull the trigger over and over and over again. And it ended in tragedy.”
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, who also responded at the scene, called the deadly incident “a horrifying, tragic event” and told local reporters that the motive in the shooting was still under investigation.
Fletcher was outside the bar on Friday as well, streaming video on Facebook for a “Live on Patrol” series he often posts. Large crowds were visible through his dashboard camera.
“We’ve never had any shots fired here, I hope we never do. But with this volume it’s going to happen at some point right? It’s becoming a very popular place,” he said chillingly.
Within 48 hours, the site would be a crime scene, and Marquisha D Wiley would be dead.
Remembering Marquisha D Wiley
Marquisha D Wiley was described by those who knew her as “bright, joyful and supportive.” The 27-year-old worked as a veterinary technician, and was a 2012 graduate of nearby Henry Sibley High School.
“She had the biggest heart,” her mother Beth told local reporters. “She was a sweetheart.”
Wiley, who friends and family called “Kiki,” was described by her aunt Jenny Gleb as “an absolutely beautiful soul inside and out.”
“She had the biggest heart in the world,” Gleb added. “She had a passion to work with animals and was a vet tech for several years.”
Gleb also set up a GoFundMe page to assist her mourning family handle funeral costs. The fund drive surpassed its $10,000 goal in less than 24 hours.
Officials joined Marquisha D Wiley’s loved ones in their grief.
“Minnesota is keeping in our hearts the family of the young woman killed and the 14 others injured, and the St. Paul neighborhood reeling from this senseless gun violence,” said Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. “We’re working in close coordination with local law enforcement as they apprehend those responsible.”
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said he spoke to Marquisha D Wiley’s family on Sunday following the Minnesota bar shooting.
“I told them my heart aches for their family and I can’t imagine the pain that they’re feeling and the pain that they are going to undoubtedly feel for the rest of their lives,” he said. “When I reflect on these terrible conversations I have to have with family members, I’m always reminded that grief is not just a moment in time. It’s a lifetime.”