Mara H. GottfriedOctober 10, 2021 at 5:23 p.m.
It was a fun, light night of people singing to the music and dancing at a St. Paul bar — and the DJ said he didn’t spot any signs of trouble from the stage. Out of nowhere, gunshots rang out.
Peter Mazalewski, whose stage name is Mr. Peter Parker, flattened himself down and then crawled off the side of the stage when the shots stopped. Fifteen people were shot, one fatally, when people exchanged gunfire at the Seventh Street Truck Park, an indoor food truck hall and bar near the Xcel Energy Center. Police arrested three men.
In Mazalewski’s 25 years as a DJ, which has taken him to Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Boston and Atlanta, “I’ve never in my whole life had anybody pull out a handgun and open fire,” he said.
Mazalewski’s friend was videotaping during the night and, even looking back at the video, he said there’s nothing that shows what’s to come.
“You just see smiling people dancing,” he said, saying the average age of patrons appeared to be 25 to 35.
He had about 40 minutes left of playing music when “abruptly, with no escalation,” there were gunshots — “it was intense and it happened really, really, really fast,” Mazalewski said. “… This was people who had a private situation that took it public.”
Mazalewski estimated there were 250 people in the establishment and he said people rushed to get down. “I think it’s natural human instinct to get right on your stomach, as close as you can to the ground.”
He added: “It was panic and melee, people screaming and freaking out” before the room cleared out. Mazalewski looked around to see if anyone needed help.
Mazalewski, who was previously a host for Go 95.3 FM, has been DJing at the bar on Saturday nights for the last four months, which he said have been busy nights for the business.
“There have been no problems, other than little scuffles, things that happen when guys are drinking,” Mazalewski said. “But not any violence, not anything that couldn’t be handled in three seconds with a bouncer.”
After what happened Sunday, Mazalewski wrote on Twitter, “I’m pretty desensitized to violence, this was something else. I’m heartbroken.”