Minneapolis officer serving warrant kills man in apartment

Steve Karnowski
Associated Press

Minneapolis – A Minneapolis police officer fatally shot a man Wednesday who authorities say had a loaded gun in his hand when officers entered a downtown apartment as part of a murder investigation.

Authorities have not said if the man who was shot was connected to that investigation or named in a warrant.

Interim police Chief Amelia Huffman said the shooting happened at about 7 a.m. Wednesday. Officers from the Minneapolis department’s SWAT unit were serving warrants to help the St. Paul Police Department in a homicide investigation.

Police investigate a shooting in Minneapolis, Minn., on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022.

Huffman said the officers used a key fob to gain entry to the apartment, and identified themselves as police before entering and once inside the apartment. Nine seconds after going inside, officers encountered a man with a handgun.

Huffman said he was “holding that gun in his hand at the time that shots were fired.”

She said police gave the man immediate medical attention, then carried him to paramedics. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Authorities recovered a loaded gun, Huffman said.

One officer was involved, Huffman said. She did not say whether that officer was injured, or how many shots were fired. She and Mayor Jacob Frey did not take questions as they updated the media Wednesday afternoon.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends who loved the man who lost his life today,” Huffman said. She said she has seen body camera video of the incident, but did not elaborate.

A spokesman for the St. Paul Police Department said he could not comment because of the ongoing homicide investigation.

Few people were around Wednesday afternoon and police line tape limited access to most of the block in front of the upscale apartment building, which sits across the street from Orchestra Hall. Several police cars and a state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime scene van were positioned outside.

Earlier Wednesday, Nekima Levy Armstrong, a longtime activist on policing and civil rights issues, posted online that she had received a call from Huffman to tell her that police had shot and killed a man while serving a warrant Wednesday morning.

Levy Armstrong was among several people whom Frey last year named to a commission aimed at improving public safety in the city.

The shooting comes as three former officers are on trial in St. Paul on charges that they violated George Floyd’s civil rights when he was killed in May 2020. Floyd was among several Black men to die in confrontations with Minneapolis police in recent years, and his death spurred a drive to remake the department at the same time it caused an exodus of hundreds of officers.

Minneapolis saw protests after Floyd’s death, and again last June when Winston Smith Jr., a Black man, was shot and killed by members of a U.S. Marshals Service task force trying to arrest him on a warrant for being a felon in possession of a gun. Smith’s companion said the task force members weren’t in uniform and didn’t identify themselves and that she didn’t see Smith with a gun, as they claimed. A prosecutor found otherwise, saying the task force members were identifiable as law enforcement and ordered Smith out of the vehicle before he drew a gun and fired. No charges were filed against the task force members involved.

Voters in November rejected a proposal to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety unit and to do away with a required minimum number of officers.

Huffman took over in January after the retirement of Medaria Arradondo, the city’s popular Black chief, who had been working with Frey on a series of policy changes aimed at remaking the department. The Department of Justice is also conducting a civil rights investigation of the department.