A 31 -year-old man is dead, killed by Minneapolis police officers on Saturday afternoon in North Minneapolis.
Details are still being sorted out, but according to officials, police were responding to a call about a man with a handgun at, or near, the corner of Camden and 48th Avenues North. When officers arrived, they came upon a man who they say was armed, and officers opened fire striking the man identified by family as Thurman Blevins several times, killing him. However, at least one eyewitness disputes police claims.
James Lark says the man who was killed was sitting in front of a house with a woman and child in a stroller when two officers exited their police vehicle yelling for the man to drop a weapon, but the man raised both hands and said he didn’t have a weapon. However, police either tased or shot, at which point Blevins began running and police gave chance shooting several more times. Lark said he did not see the subsequent shots but heard them.
Hours after the killing, members of the community, including multiple elected officials, remained on the scene along with close to 30 Minneapolis police officers. While the scene was tense, it remained peaceful. One person was handcuffed earlier in the day but was later released without arrest.
Following the shooting, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo arrived on the scene and spoke with officers and community members. During a late evening press conference Arradondo told reporters that both officers involved in the shooting had body cameras that were on and recording during the incident.
Blevins is the first person killed by Minneapolis Police since Arradondo took over as chief. Many in the community called for Arradondo to head the department following two high profile police killings under the stewardship or former chief, Janeé Harteau – the killings of Jamar Clark in November 2015 and Justine Ruszczyk Damond in July of last year. Arradondo promised a full and transparent investigation.
Frey also promised a full investigation and said he, like many, wants answers, but regardless of the outcome the event was tragic.
“At the end of the day, we know that no matter what transpired in the moments leading up to the shooting, we know with certainty that the outcome is a tragedy,” said Frey in a statement.
As with all officer involved shootings, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is leading the investigation into the incident.