Duluth Central Hillside Shooting

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2010 Updated Jul 14, 2009 at 5:42 PM CDT

A Duluth family is in mourning after a young father was shot to death in a barrage of gunfire.

Curtis Michael Cooney, 22, was shot in the head after a dispute at a home on the 400 block of Second Avenue East. Cooney's father tells the Northland's NewCenter Curtis was everybody's friend and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The victim leaves behind his own son, Michael, who will be two years old next month.

Police were called to the 400 block of Second Avenue East just after ten last night. When they got there they found the two gunshot victims.

An ambulance took the shooting victims to the hospital but one man had been shot in the head and was dead by the time he got to the emergency room.

The other man's leg wound wasn't as serious. He was treated and released.

"We are mourning the loss of a young gentleman. He was a father," says Scott Yeazle, a central hillside resident.

A group of people got together in Duluth's hillside in the afternoon to share their grief and look for ways to make their community safer.

"We got to step up and do something against any crimes that happen in our community," says Yeazle.

Police said it looks like the violence escalated following an argument over a dog.

"There was a dispute at that residence, at that alley, and it involved a small dog. Some words were exchanged including some threats," said Assistant Chief John Beyer of the Duluth Police Department.

An hour and a twenty minutes after the argument police were called to a home a few blocks away.

That's where they found 22 year old Curtis Michael Cooney shot in the head, and 21 year old Ephriam Darell Burks shot in the leg.

"The scene was very very chaotic, we ended up putting multiple people in handcuffs because the scene was so volatile. Trying to get a grip of what actually happened there, we did detain several people, briefly we spoke with multiple individuals but right now no one is in custody," says Assistant Chief Beyer.

Police say the home where they found the victims had been quite troublesome in the past with 12 disturbance calls since January.

Hillside residents say they want to take a stand against crime.

We've got to know who are neighbors are, we've got to say we're not going to take this anymore," said Yeazle.

The Duluth Police Department is asking anyone with information to call their violent crimes unit.

Authorities are looking for three black men believed to be connected to the shootings.

Community leaders are holding a meeting on July 23rd at the community center to talk about fighting crime in the area.

This is the first murder in Duluth this year.