Kenneth J. McKinnis, a 38-year-old Minneapolis man, has been charged with second-degree intentional murder in the shooting death of Curtis Johnson, a 37-year-old resident of a tent encampment in the Phillips neighborhood. The incident occurred on September 26 following a dispute over a $20 debt. McKinnis, who has a history of previous convictions for theft, assault, and disorderly conduct, remains in jail with a bail set at $1 million.
According to the criminal complaint, Minneapolis police responded to the shooting at the tent encampment on 16th Avenue S. around 1 p.m. Witnesses stated that McKinnis had engaged in a heated argument with Johnson the day before, threatening to shoot him if he did not repay the debt. On the day of the shooting, McKinnis was seen approaching Johnson’s tent wearing a glove and with a firearm in his waistband. After a brief exchange of words, a gunshot was heard, and McKinnis was observed fleeing the scene.
Surveillance video captured footage of a stolen pickup truck arriving at the encampment shortly before the shooting. A passenger wearing red exited the vehicle and entered Johnson’s tent. Moments later, the same individual ran back to the truck after the gunshot. The abandoned truck was later found in a Brooklyn Center parking lot. The driver, identified through surveillance video, claimed to have stayed in the vehicle listening to music and denied hearing the gunshot. He stated that McKinnis returned to the truck and urged him to leave.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and McKinnis is scheduled to appear in Hennepin County District Court.