Updated: December 31, 2020 03:55 PM
Created: December 30, 2020 07:28 PM
A man was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officers Wednesday night in the city's Powderhorn neighborhood.
According to Minneapolis Police, officers were engaged in a traffic stop with a felony suspect at a Holiday gas station near East 36th Street and Cedar Avenue at about 6:15 p.m.
During the stop, police said gunfire was exchanged and the suspect was struck. He was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel. According to Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, initial witness statements indicate the suspect fired at officers before officers returned fire.
Police said a woman in the passenger's seat was not injured, and officers were also not injured in the incident.
Teams with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are at the scene and are leading the investigation, police said.
Police said it is believed that officers' body cameras were on when the incident happened but it's unclear if they captured the shooting and what led up to it. There were also witnesses to the incident.
Arradondo said that body camera footage will be released to the public Thursday afternoon, at the earliest.
Arradondo also confirmed the officers were part of a Community Response Team, which is a unit that often deals with higher risk crimes and situations that normal 911 responders aren't equipped to deal with, such as drug-related or gun-related situations. The chief said he didn't have specific details on that specific team and situation, however.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office will identify the victim and his cause of death at a later time. The BCA is expected to identify the officers involved in the coming days.
Dozens of people gathered near the scene Wednesday night. Arradondo urged those people to remain peaceful and let law enforcement members do their jobs.
"We want to do everything we can to protect everyone's First Amendment rights ... but we can not allow for destructive criminal behavior, the city has gone through too much," Arradondo said.
The chief added that if protesters turn violent or damage property, he will be forced to make the decision to have officers get the situation under control. "It's about keeping our city safe," he said.
Though there were some tense moments between protesters and police at the scene, the situation had calms down overnight into Thursday.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made the following statement regarding the shooting:
“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city. We know a life has been cut short and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile. Rebuilding that trust will depend on complete transparency. I am working closely with Chief Arradondo to gather all the facts surrounding what happened tonight and will be relaying that information, in coordination with State partners, to community as quickly as possible.
“We must all be committed to getting the facts, pursuing justice, and keeping the peace.”
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