Armed suspect shot and killed by Minneapolis Police blocks from burnt-out police precinct

A day after Minneapolis Police Officer Jamal Mitchell, who was ambushed and murdered by a gunman, was laid to rest, officers from the city’s 3rd precinct had to use deadly force to protect themselves from another gunman who apparently attempted to shoot at officers during a foot chase.

According to Chief O’Hara, two different 911 callers reported the man walking around with a handgun in his hands. The first call came in at 9:03 p.m. reporting that the man was armed with a handgun and talking to himself on the street near East Lake St. and 29th Ave So. The second call came in at 9:18 p.m. reporting the man, still armed, was on Hiawatha Ave and East 34th St. just a few blocks from the original call.

Police located the man on Hiawatha Ave. and attempted to secure him. The man reportedly fled from officers on foot. At least four MPD officers gave chase ordering the man to drop the gun and surrender. At some point there was a confrontation and at least three of the officers shot the man to end the threat he posed. It was reported that the man’s handgun was “jammed” indicating a malfunction that occurs when a gun is fired or attempted to be fired.

The man, who has yet to be identified, was transported to HCMC where he died. Once identified by the medical examiner, it will be important to determine the man’s history and whether our court system or mental health system was in the position to have pre-empted this incident. 

Chief O’Hara reported that from all the information he had gathered, he had “no reason to think this is anything other than a justifiable and lawful use of force by police officers.” The Minnesota BCA was called and is handling the follow up investigation. Once completed, the case will be turned over to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for review.

It should not be lost on anyone, that this incident not only happened in close time proximity to the murder of Officer Mitchell, but also happened in close physical proximity to the burned-out 3rd Precinct building that city leadership has let sit vacant for over four years follow the firebombing of the building during civil unrest. Such inaction sends a strong message of dysfunction to everyone living, working, and visiting the city. 

Thankfully no officers fell victim to this dysfunction last night. Residents will need to decide when enough dysfunction is really enough — starting with their representation on the city council.