The mother of a 17-year-old boy fatally shot two weeks ago in Brooklyn Park is begging for anybody with information about who fired the deadly shots to come forward.
Alvera Voss made the plea during a news conference Thursday where police disclosed that two 17-year-olds currently in custody allegedly bought gun parts online and used them to assemble two firearms connected to the killing of Syoka Siko on Nov. 18.
“We would like closure and justice,” Voss said. “Help figure out who killed my son. State what you know. You know the truth will set you free.”
Investigators have been working for the past 12 days to piece together what happened the night of Nov. 18. What they know is that four 17-year-old boys described by Brooklyn Park police Chief Mark Bruley as “associates” or “friends” were in a vehicle near an apartment building on Regent Avenue. About 8:30 p.m., three to four shots were fired inside the vehicle, Bruley said.
One of the passengers was attempting to shoot at somebody or something outside the vehicle, but the rounds struck Siko and another teen, Bruley said.
There was no evidence that anybody had shot toward the vehicle, the chief added.
The four teens drove from the scene down Regent Avenue, and got on Brooklyn Boulevard. At some point they stopped to hide the guns, and then proceeded to Interstate 94 near 53rd Avenue in north Minneapolis. They called 911 and the State Patrol arrived.
Siko later died at the hospital. A second teen was treated for a non life-threatening gunshot wound, Bruley said.
The two other 17-year-olds who were in the vehicle have been arrested and are being held at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center on aiding and abetting murder. One of them is believed to have been the shooter, Bruley said.
Bruley said the teens in custody have not been cooperative, and that police are still looking to talk to one more teen.
The case is troubling for police because it shows how easy it is for anybody, even teenagers, to buy gun parts and put together a “ghost gun” — a firearm that has no serial number or registration.
Inspector Elliott Faust said evidence collected at one of the teens’ homes revealed they had bought gun parts from multiple manufacturers, used fake names and had parts delivered through the mail. The purchases were made within the past month, he said.
Brooklyn Park police have recovered 119 guns this year, 26 of which were ghost guns.
“It’s a real concern about how easy it is to obtain guns,” Faust said. “They can order a kit to assemble and create working firearms, even 17-year-olds. It is almost like playing Legos.”
Friends and family members organized a community conversation about youth guns, violence, gangs and drugs Thursday night at Ebenezer Community Church.
Siko was an honor roll student and played basketball last year on the junior varsity team at Park Center High School. He was also on the postseason roster when the Pirates won the Class 4A state championship. He had transferred to Andover High School this year.
“His death is tragic and extremely hard to imagine the pain his loved ones are going through,” a GoFundMe set up to help Siko’s family cover funeral expenses said. “No one prepares to bury their children. With our deepest sadness and genuine need, we ask for any assistance you might be able to provide for funeral expenses and other costs associated with this tragedy.”