July 09, 2018 03:58 PM
June 23, 2018: Minneapolis police respond to two calls to dispatch, one detailing a man with a gun on the 4800 block of Bryant Avenue North, and the other call reporting shots fired in the air in the same area at about 5:30 p.m.
Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder said police responded to the area and started chasing the suspect on foot. Shots were fired and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the suspect was armed at the time of the shooting.
The suspect's identity, 31-year-old Thurman Blevins, was released later in the day by the NAACP Minneapolis' Facebook page. Witnesses on scene told KSTP they heard close to a dozen gunshots. Police officials announced the investigation would be handled by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) going forward.
June 24, 2018: A day after the incident, and after giving a late-night press conference from city hall, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted Sunday morning that he would not participate in marching in the Pride Day Parade. He instead said he was going to focus his attention on the shooting and its impact on the community.
Sunday night, the BCA said a gun was recovered at the scene. Sources also confirmed officer Justin Schmidt and his partner, whose name is not yet known, were involved in the shooting. The BCA also revealed Blevins was shot near 48th Avenue North and North Camden Avenue. Both witnesses that made separate 911 calls gave a detailed description of Blevins to police.
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 mentioned fired their guns, killing Blevins.
The head of the Police Federation said this was not a case of excessive force, but necessary force. The BCA added body cameras worn by police recorded the shooting. Squad cameras did not capture it. A check of state records revealed Blevins was a convicted felon, which means he was not allowed by law to possess a firearm.
June 25, 2018: The Hennepin County Medical Center reported Blevins died of multiple gunshot wounds and has ruled the incident a homicide, which the medical examiner uses to term any death caused by the intentional actions of another person or persons.
They also placed the official location of the shooting on the 4700 block of Bryant Avenue North (alley). The BCA said it will officially release the names of the officers who shot their weapons after "both" have provided interviews. The bureau said it will turn over turn over the findings of its investigation for review to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.
June 27, 2018: Sources close to the incident had identified Minneapolis Police Officer Ryan Kelley as the second officer involved in the shooting. Officer Kelly had five previous complaints filed against him that ended with no disciplinary action. Schmidt, the other officer involved, had three complaints filed against him: two with no discipline and one remains open, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced he will release the body camera video recorded, allegedly showing the moment two Minneapolis police officers fired their weapons at Blevins. The BCA indicated the shooting was captured by those body cameras.
The Minneapolis City Council made time for public comment on the officer-involved shooting. Many citizens and family members alike shared the same message towards the council, saying they are losing faith in the system, and expressed their need to see the body camera footage released.
June 29, 2018: The Minneapolis Police Department released reacted personnel files on both officers involved. The files revealed that Schmidt had joined the department in 2014 after serving in the Air Force from 2001 to 2013. He also worked at Gander Mountain, where he said on his resume that he managed the firing range and gave use-of-force training to civilians and law enforcement. Schmidt's background also includes volunteer work as a tutor and mentor for Somali children at a south Minneapolis nonprofit. Schmidt was selected as 5th Precinct Officer of the Month twice, and nominated several times. Schmidt also received the Chief's Award of Merit in 2017 as part of the 2016 bicycle rapid response team.
Kelly joined the police department in 2013 after several law enforcement and security jobs. Kelly is also a certified paramedic and was an EMS instructor at Hennepin County Medical Center, according to his resume. His resume said he began serving as an Army National Guard combat medic in 2008. While on the Minneapolis force, Kelly received two lifesaving awards and a Medal of Commendation for an incident in which he and other officers were able to subdue a man who was high on a hallucinogen and carrying a loaded gun. Kelly also has SWAT training, and received an Award of Merit for being part of a team of officers who tested and evaluated the department's body cameras in 2015.
Updated: July 09, 2018 03:58 PM
Created: June 25, 2018 04:57 PM
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