A Brooklyn Park man was convicted of murder Dec. 17 for his role in an August 2019 drive-by shooting.

Michael Ferguson, 26, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Kyreon Watkins, 23, of Minneapolis.

Ferguson will be sentenced Jan. 15. The attorney’s office expects him to receive a 30.5 year sentence based on his criminal record.

According to the criminal complaint, Minneapolis Police were dispatched to a report of a shooting at 2018 Aldrich Ave. N. at approximately 8:20 p.m. Aug. 24, 2019.

Arriving officers were informed that an adult male, later identified as Watkins, had received significant injuries in the shooting and was transported to North Memorial Hospital by a private party.

Officers arrived at the hospital and found Watkins with two gunshot wounds to the right side of his head. Watkins died in the hospital at 12:35 a.m. Aug. 25 as a result of his wounds, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office, which ruled his death a homicide.

The shooting occurred in an area where members of the YNT street gang assemble, according to prosecutors, and officers observed members of the gang at the hospital.

A witness to the shooting told officers that a gunman had fired five or six shots at a group of men standing on the sidewalk. He reported that a bullet grazed his hand, and that he standing near Watkins when the shooting occurred. He identified the shooter as Ferguson.

The shooting was captured on surveillance video, which officers obtained and viewed.

The video showed that shortly before the shooting, approximately 20 males assembled on a sidewalk near a church in the 2000 block of Aldrich Avenue. Ferguson, Watkins, and the witness were all identified in the surveillance video.

The video shows Ferguson and another man square up as though they were beginning a physical altercation. As they talked for several minutes, they appeared to end their conflict without physical violence.

Ferguson then entered the front passenger seat of a vehicle, which pulled slightly forward and away from the curb. Ferguson then extended a handgun out of the window of the vehicle and fired several shots at the group of men on the sidewalk.

Watkins fell to the ground, and other men standing nearby picked him up and placed him in a vehicle, which drove off to the hospital.

Ferguson then fled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was arrested Sept. 3, 2019.

When interviewed by police officers, Ferguson initially denied his involvement. He later asked officers to identify the victim, and stated that Watkins was his “homie.” Following this, he confessed to the shooting.

Ferguson’s confession confirmed what had been observed on surveillance video. He told officers that he nearly got in a fight with someone, and that he possessed a handgun at the time. He entered the vehicle, and then fired three to four shots at the group.

Ferguson also admitted that after discovering that one of the men he shot had died, he fled the state.

Ferguson has two previous felony robbery convictions, and was on probation at the time of the offense. He was also prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of his previous convictions.

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