The Twin Cities has taken a beating over the last few months. Today, North Minneapolis hangs its head low as the increasing violence has taken another member of their community. On Saturday, July 16th, 36-year-old mother of three, Crystal Collins was tragically killed in front of her North Minneapolis home around 8pm. Police have released a statement that Collins was not the intended target for the shooting and her family does not know why she was shot. No statements have been released regarding any suspects in Collins’s death, however two male gunshot victims reportedly arrived at North Memorial Medical Center shortly after the shooting.
On Sunday night, a large group of shocked and grief-stricken friends and family from all over the Twin Cities gathered together on the corner of Newton Avenue North and 30th Avenue North, where the shooting took place, to celebrate the life of Miss Collins in a memorial service. Her sister, Tyheesha Collins, had this to say about her sister to WCCO News in Minneapolis:
“She had a really infectious laugh...She was a good person, she was a loving person. Your kids were her kids. Your kids were her godchildren.”
Since the sudden and tragic death of Collins, the family has been hosting a series of fundraising events selling plates of food and washing cars to pay for her funeral expenses and burial, as well as provide financially for the three teenage children that survived her in death. I spoke with Tyheesha today and she says that she’s “not okay”, but she’s overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that friends and the community have given their family. She expressed deep thanks and gratitude for everyone that has stopped by, called, or given their time and support to help her family put their loved one to rest. Crystal has been remembered by her friends and those who hold her dear as a kind, loving, and fiery woman. Although she was small in stature, she had a big and bright personality that will be missed by all who knew her.
Collins’s death comes on the heel of several tragedies of street violence plauging North Minneapolis. According to recent Police data, violent crime has increased by 11% in Minneapolis since last year. On June 4th, over 100 people marched down West Broadway Avenue to stand against street violence and the community has had enough. On July 8th, two children were victims of street violence in the same neighborhood, leaving a two-year-old named Le’Vonte King Jason Jones dead, and another 15-month-old injured. Collins’s last post on her Facebook, which seems ominous in retrospect, was her paying homage to the child who was killed in her neighborhood just eight days before her own death.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for those who would like to contribute to the family’s urgent needs. I strongly encourage anyone who can contribute to please donate, because it would greatly help her children who need support during this time of grief and confusion.
Anyone who may have any information about this homicide is urged to contact the Minneapolis Police Department at Minneapolis Police at 612-692-8477 or anonymously text information to TIP411.