Mourning man identifies brother as Superior shooting victimA family member said the victim is his 35-year-old brother, and that the man likely was killed due to drugs.
By: Peter Passi and Brandon Stahl, Duluth News Tribune
A man was fatally shot about 10 a.m. today outside of a Superior home he was visiting.
Family said the victim is 35-year-old Toriano Dawen “Snapper” Cooper, whom his brother, Antron, said likely was killed due to drugs.
“My brother had a drug problem his whole life and this is the end result of it,” said Antron Cooper, who lives in Minneapolis. “He did something to somebody and they turned around and took his life.”
Police said they have no information on a suspect and are seeking the public’s help. The shooting happened outside of 1901 N. 12th St.
Cooper said despite his brother likely dying due to a drug crime, “I don’t think I’ve ever felt this kind of hurt in my whole life.”
He said his brother had three children, ages 8 to 16, and lived in Superior for about 12 to 15 years.
A friend of Toriano Cooper’s, Chucc Walker, painted another picture of Cooper, saying he had an easy way with young people and was known to take time out to toss a football around with kids in the neighborhood.
Walker said Cooper had a talent for customizing vehicles, and was no troublemaker.
“He was one of those guys you’d want for a neighbor,” Walker said. “He was one of the few men I would trust to watch my kids.”
Neighbors said Cooper was cleaning his car in front of his home before he was shot. After he was shot, he was able to get back inside his home, but succumbed to his injuries a short time later, police said.
Cooper said he was told by police that one of the bullets appeared to hit his brother’s heart.
John Anderson, who lives next door to the crime scene, said he saw the victim cleaning his car this morning and said hello to him. Shortly afterward, Anderson said he went into the upstairs area of his home when he heard what sounded like three gunshots.
Later he said he saw police surround the house and was told the man was dead.
Another neighbor, Shari Birch, said after police arrived on the scene, a child opened a window to the victim’s house and yelled that his uncle had died.
According to property records, the home is owned by Richard and Gail Hoffman, who live in Billings Park. Gail Hoffman said the home was a rental, but said she had no other information on the shooting. She said she called Superior police but was told they couldn’t provide any information as it was an active investigation.
Birch said the victim lived at the house since around the beginning of December.
She said when she moved into the neighborhood it was peaceful, but in recent years it has had problems with burglaries and suspected drug activity.
“But nothing like this has ever happened,” she said. “I have two small grandkids. Do I have to worry about them going outside?”
Anderson said he’s lived in the neighborhood for about three years. He said he believed the shooting was a drive-by.
“This is kind of scary,” he said. “You hear about a drive-by shooting, and you think that’s not the kind of thing that happens on a peaceful Sunday morning in Superior.”