Sources ID 1 Officer in Fatal North Mpls. Police Shooting; BCA Begins Investigation

June 27, 2018 05:45 AM

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said a gun was recovered at the scene of a fatal police shooting in North Minneapolis Saturday evening.

That's one of the details the BCA revealed Sunday. The agency is investigating after two officers fatally shot 31-year-old Thurman Blevins near 48th Avenue North and North Camden Avenue.

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RELATED: Armed Man Shot, Killed by Minneapolis Police

Police responded to the area after two separate citizens called 911 about a man firing a handgun into the air.  They gave detailed descriptions of the stranger: a light-skinned black male wearing a white tank top with a black backpack. He was between the ages of 30-35, 6-feet and weighed about 180 pounds. 

When officers arrived, they found Blevins and a woman sitting on the curb near the 48th and Camden intersection.  As officers approached him, Blevins ran off and the BCA said he was carrying a silver and black gun. After pursuing him for several blocks, both officers fired their guns. It's yet to be determined how many times or how many bullets hit Blevins. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sunday, the head of the Police Federation, a union that represents officers, said this was not a case of excessive force, but necessary force.

"He posed a threat, few people will go to gunfire, they did and when the video was released there is no question they were heroes," said Lt. Bob Kroll. 

RELATED: Demonstrators at 4th Precinct Demand Answers in Fatal Police Shooting

According to the BCA, body cameras worn by the officers recorded the shooting. There is audio and video. Squad cameras did not capture it.

The BCA said a silver and black handgun was recovered from the scene. A check of state records revealed Blevins is a convicted felon, which means he is not allowed by law to possess a firearm. 

"We want videos of what happened to be released, there are a lot of stories out here and we want to make sure we get it right," Blevins' uncle Manuel Moore said at a demonstration outside the 4th Precinct Sunday.

"I know he's made some bad decisions, but we want everything to come to light, we don't want secrets."

Part of the ongoing investigation will be to determine where Blevins got ahold of the gun: Was it stolen or did a straw buyer purchase it for him?

Sources confirm Officer Justin Schmidt and his partner, whose name is not known yet, were involved in the shooting. Schmidt is a firearms instructor and a military veteran. He served in the Air Force and also taught combat firearms instruction.

The BCA said two officers are on standard administrative leave following the shooting.

RELATED: Protesters Gather at Pride Parade After Police Shooting

Credits

Anthony Brousseau & Beth McDonough

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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