Police looking for answers on Christmas killing; reward offered

The Minneapolis Police Department is asking for the public’s help in finding any information related to the Christmas morning shooting death of 28-year-old Luis Figueroa-Morales at Lake Street and Pleasant Avenue.

Police hosted a press conference today with representatives from MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction-Defending Against Drugs and Social-Disorder) and Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest or conviction.

Homicide Lt. Richard Zimmerman said Morales was leaving a party in the area when he became involved in a confrontation that ultimately led to his death. Police have a grainy video from a business at the corner showing Morales walking east on Lake Street with another person, believed to be the shooter, behind him.

Zimmerman said police know there was some sort of confrontation before the shooting based on physical evidence recovered at the scene. He declined to share details on the evidence because of its importance to the investigation.

The motive is unclear, Zimmerman said.

“Clearly the motive wasn’t robbery,” he said. “The victim had a cell phone in his hand and money in his pocket. We believe the confrontation was based on something else.”

He said no one at the party Morales attended is a suspect. The video shows some light traffic on Lake Street at the time of the shooting, but no witnesses have come forward. Police hope the reward — which an anonymous tipster can receive — will help shed some light on what happened.

“We’re just hoping that somebody may know who was out here that morning,” Zimmerman said.