BROOKLYN PARK— On the morning of Monday, April 17, Brooklyn Park Police Officers were made aware of an incident that occurred at the Zanewood Recreation Center on the evening of Friday April 14, 2023.
Officers learned that Brooklyn Park Youth Outreach workers had discovered a handgun stored in a backpack inside one of the recreation center’s lockers on Friday April 14 at 7:30 PM. Upon lifting the bag, outreach workers thought it felt heavy. When feeling the outside of the bag the outreach workers believed there may be a gun inside and searched the bag. The outreach workers discovered a handgun inside the backpack. An outreach worker handed the backpack, containing the handgun, over to the 16-year-old individual who owned the backpack, and told him to leave the property.
Upon learning of the incident, the case was immediately assigned to a Brooklyn Park Police Detective. The Detective quickly learned that the 16-year-old may be in close proximity to Park Center Senior High School. The onsite School Resource Officer was immediately notified. Brooklyn Park Officers, in concert with Park Center school administrators, developed a plan to intercept the 16-year-old if he entered school property.
After school on Monday April 17, alert school officials spotted the 16-year-old in question on school property. Officials immediately notified onsite Brooklyn Park Police Officers, who intercepted the individual. The 16-year-old was taken into custody without incident and was found to be in possession of a handgun. He was booked at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center for possession of dangerous weapon on school grounds.
On Wednesday April 19, Brooklyn Park Police arrested a former Youth Outreach Worker for furnishing a firearm to a minor. The individual is in custody at the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center and the case has been sent to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
In addition to the ongoing investigation by the Brooklyn Park Police Department, the City of Brooklyn Park has launched an internal investigation into the incident.
“There are some unknowns right now, as investigations are pending,” said City spokesperson Risikat Adesaogun. “We have numerous protocols in place to ensure the safety of the young people who visit our Rec Center and we continue to work with the Brooklyn Park Police Department and our partners at Osseo Area Schools.”
The Youth Outreach Worker was working as an independent contractor. The individual’s contract with the City was terminated effective April 19, 2023.