Campaign Staffer for Ilhan Omar's GOP Rival Shot Dead in Minneapolis
Andre Conley, 17, killed as members of Republican Lacy Johnson ambushed by gunman
Two members of radical Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D-MN) Republican challenger's campaign staff have been ambushed by a gunman, leaving one dead and the other critically wounded, according to reports.
17-year-old Andre Conley was shot and killed during the attack outside a gas station on Minneapolis’ north side.
The pair worked for Republican congressional candidate Lacy Johnson, who is running against Democrat Rep. Omar.
The second victim, who also worked for Johnson's campaign, survived the shooting but was seriously wounded during the attack.
Police in Minneapolis reportedly arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting following a high-speed pursuit on Thursday.
He is now in custody but has yet to be identified.
Both police and Johnson, a businessman who is seeking to unseat Omar in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District in November, said a motive for the attack has yet to be established.
They added that no links between the shooting and politics or the campaign have emerged.
The slain teen was identified as Andre Conley.
The man who was wounded was reportedly hospitalized and was expected to survive.
The Johnson campaign said both Conley and the other victim were members of an outreach team and were not performing campaign duties during the incident.
According to police, the two were standing with a group of people outside the Super USA convenience store at the intersection of North Fremont and Dowling avenues just before 4.30 pm when they were approached on foot by the assailant, who opened fire and fled, reported CBS Minneapolis.
First responders rushed both victims to Hennepin Healthcare, where the surviving man is listed in serious but stable condition.
Just before 7 am on Thursday, police attempted to pull over a suspect wanted in Conley's killing, reported KARE11.
A police spokesperson said that the man fled, leading officers on a high-speed chase down Interstate 394 westbound to northbound Highway 169.
The suspect was eventually apprehended after crashing his car in Plymouth.
"It is shocking and unnecessary acts of violence like this that prove why change is needed now more than ever in our community," Johnson said.
"The shooting did not occur during a campaign or outreach and we do not believe it has any connection to their work for the campaign."
Police spokesman John Elder said Wednesday there was nothing to suggest the attack was motivated by politics.
Conley was a senior at Patrick Henry High School, where Principal Yusuf Abdullah mourned the student with a bright smile that could light up a room.
A GoFundMe campaign was launched on Wednesday to help with Conley's funeral expenses.
"He was loved by his peers, teachers, and principal," the description of the fundraiser stated.
"And loved more than anyone by his mother and father and every single one of his family members."
The organizer of the campaign later posted an update, saying that at the request of Conley's family, the funds will be given to the surviving victim instead because "he needs the help more."
An emotional vigil was held on Wednesday for Conley near the spot where he was gunned down, bringing together family and friends who wished to pay tribute to the teen, reported KARE11.
"My nephew Andre did not deserve this," said Conley's aunt, Fatemah Green, through tears.
The event was attended by Johnson, who told the crowd that Conley and the other victim had approached his campaign, seeking to do positive things with their lives.
"I'm not blaming anybody else but us," the GOP candidate said.
"It's us. We got to take care of our own kids, we got to look after our own children."