BCA investigating I-494 traffic shooting, suspect death

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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating an incident involving a man shooting into traffic along Interstate 494 in Bloomington.

The Bloomington Police Department said officers responded to a 911 call about a man with a gun at the pedestrian bridge over the interstate, near the Nicollet Avenue exit at around 6:15 p.m. Thursday.

Police: Man fired gun at traffic on I-494; dies after self-inflicted gunshot wound

"The individual who was armed with a gun began firing rounds down in the direction of vehicles on 494, at which time a Bloomington police officer fired their weapon at the individual," Deputy Chief Mike Hartley said during a news briefing following the incident Thursday night.

He said officers also tried to talk the man down.

"After about 10 minutes of still remaining on the bridge, climbing up onto the protective fencing, there were a few more rounds that individual fired," Hartley said.

Hartley said the department has not received any reports of drivers getting hit by the suspect’s gunfire.

He said the man ultimately shot himself and fell onto the road.

No police officers were hurt in the incident.

The BCA told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the investigation of the incident is in its very early stages. A spokesperson said the suspect’s name will be released, along with information about the cause and manner of death once the preliminary autopsy is completed.

Three Bloomington police officers are on administrative leave, which is standard protocol following this type of incident.

Police did not release any other details about the nature of the call, including whether the man was having a mental health crisis.

A man who witnessed the incident said he was hoping it would not end with a loss of life.

"It was pretty traumatic to watch last night unfold," Noah McCourt said. "Just feeling the trauma kind of leak through my body of just the same story, over and over and over."

McCourt is also a mental health advocate and leader of the Minnesota Disability Justice Network and would like to see changes in how crisis calls are answered.

"I think learning to approach people with a level of difference to what they’re going through and a level of empathy really makes a difference," McCourt said.

The Bloomington Police Department said it could not comment on the case Friday since it has been handed over to the BCA.

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