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Nudieland mass shooting survivors say queerphobic interaction preceded deadly violence

KIFI

By ALLEN HENRY

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    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are new details in an unsolved mass shooting in Minneapolis.

Four survivors are sharing how a night full of creativity and inclusion quickly turned into a nightmare. And they’re remembering the beloved musician who lost his life.

Mike Wilson and Felix Jardine are members of two bands playing at a DIY punk venue called Nudieland last Friday. They had wrapped up their shows and were socializing when they heard gunshots.

“We were like standing outside next to our friend August who was killed,” Wilson said.

“I ran and hid behind the garage, and then the shots stopped. And there was a lot more screaming. And I ran to see if Mike was OK,” Jardine said. “And they were with August, and August was bleeding out really fast. There are people on the ground, just complete chaos, it was a total nightmare.”

Seven people were shot. August Golden didn’t survive.

“He was just one of those people that was always there. Any show, any kind of event, he was there, and I loved his presence so much,” Jardine said.

Aaron Dively and Quinn McClurg were also there.

“They were just such a bright light in everyone’s lives, and it’s, you know, it’s a terrible thing,” Dively said.

“For a lot of like, you know, punks, and people who are like queer or trans or within that community, it’s just like a very safe space,” McClurg said.

Nearly a week after the mass shooting, police say they haven’t made an arrest. An MPD spokesperson told WCCO “investigators are developing strong leads,” and that “an interaction at the event escalated to a point where shots were fired.”

Every witness WCCO spoke with believes that interaction was queerphobic.

“Two young men came in, started hitting on people that were not open to being hit on. And after being reprimanded and told to like step down, they grew increasingly violent, and did what they did,” Dively said.

Those there that night want to see the shooters held accountable, but aren’t confident it will happen.

“I would love to be proved wrong, but I don’t really trust police to care enough,” Wilson said.

At least one bar is ramping up security after the Nudieland shooting. The Eagle in downtown Minneapolis announced the extra measures ahead of the Gay Softball World Series at the end of the month.

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