Family of Richfield murder victim holds vigil, pleads for help

Family members of Jonathan O’Shaughnessy remember the slain son and brother during an Aug. 1 vigil at the scene of his murder in Richfield. From left: father Brian O’Shaughnessy, sister Kortney Nordrum and older brother Michael O’Shaughnessy. (Sun Current staff photo by Andrew Wig)

A placid pond in Richfield was the backdrop to an Aug. 1 vigil, nearly a month after the unsolved murder of Jonathan O’Shaughnessy.

O’Shaughnessy was slain in a drive-by shooting near 64th Street and 4th Avenue, a tragedy that belied the verdant and calm suburban setting.

“Jonathan was the victim of a random violent act. He was murdered right here, just blocks from where he grew up,” said O’Shaughnessy’s sister, Kortney Nordrum, speaking in front of dozens of family members and friends who lit candles in her brother’s remembrance.

On the public safety holiday called Night to Unite, when neighbors across Richfield and the nation gathered to celebrate togetherness for the sake of crime prevention, a life cut short was honored.

Meanwhile, police and O’Shaughnessy’s family are still seeking answers to what transpired late July 3, as the 24-year-old walked home from a street dance celebrating the Fourth of July half a mile away in the Richfield Ice Arena parking lot.

“If you know or saw anything, or know anyone who heard or saw anything, please come forward. It is completely anonymous. All we’re asking is to bring justice to Jonathan,” Nordrum pleaded.

The night of the murder, police responded to the area of 64th Street and 4th Avenue at 11:21 p.m. on a report of an individual shot. O’Shaughnessy, found lying in the street, sustained two gunshot wounds, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

As Richfield Police follow up on leads, they seek assistance from a pair of bicyclists, a male and female, who were seen in the area and may have witnessed the shooting. The individuals are encouraged to come forward with any information they have regarding the slaying.

With the help of a private donation, Crime Stoppers of Minnesota is offering a reward up to $4,500 for information on the case. Anyone with information may contact Crime Stoppers at CrimeStoppersMN.org, by calling toll-free 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by using the Tip Submit app installable on all smartphones. All contact with Crime Stoppers is anonymous.

Additionally, a family member of O’Shaughnessy’s – who asked their name not be printed out of concern for their safety – told the Sun Current the family is offering its own $10,000 reward.

At the Aug. 1 vigil, as Nordrum remembered her brother, she contemplated what would be on his mind if he were still alive. The avid sports fan would be watching his Minnesota Twins play the San Diego Padres, and lamenting his hometown team losing the division race to the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals.

He also ventured far and wide from his Richfield home.

“We’re here to appreciate that in 24 short years, Jonny got to see the world, to feel the warm sand of the Jamaica beaches, and hold himself under the Blarney Stone and give it a good kiss,” Nordrum said. “He shared his smile and his light with the world, even when the world didn’t smile back.”

A press conference is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 3, at the scene of the shooting. Mayor Pat Elliott, Richfield Police Chief Jay Henthorne and a representative of O’Shaughnessy’s family are planning to speak.