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Man pleads guilty in fatal shooting at George Floyd Square

October 4, 2021 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A 31-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge for fatally shooting another man at the intersection where George Floyd died in police custody.

Shantaello Christianson pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree manslaughter and to being a felon in possession of a firearm in the March 6 death of 30-year-old Imez Wright.

Prosecutors say as part of the guilty plea, Christianson will be sentenced to 10 years on the manslaughter count and five years on the weapons count. The sentences will be served at the same time.

Authorities said Wright was shot multiple times in the chest and hand outside Cup Foods, a convenience store that was thrust into the spotlight last year after Minneapolis police detained Floyd in front of it. The intersection became a makeshift memorial after Floyd’s death and is now known as George Floyd Square.

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Christianson was initially charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

Authorities said Wright was standing in front of Cup Foods on the evening of March 6 when Christianson drove up in a vehicle and they began arguing. Christianson stepped out of the vehicle and shot Wright multiple times before driving off, according to the complaint.

Investigators said Christianson and Wright are both members of the Rolling 30′s Bloods gang but were on opposite sides of an internal gang dispute. Several people who were at the scene allegedly fired at Christianson’s vehicle as he fled.

The shooting occurred the weekend before trial began for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was ultimately convicted of murder in Floyd’s death. Floyd, who was Black, died May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck.