Authorities Investigating Fatal Minneapolis Police Shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota state authorities are investigating after Minneapolis police shot and killed a black man they say was firing a handgun as he walked outside.

People gathered for a Sunday afternoon protest at a police station and a vigil near the north Minneapolis shooting scene was set for the evening, the Star Tribune reported. Some witnesses have disputed the police account of the Saturday shooting, saying the man did not have a gun.

“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,” Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement. He didn’t march in a Sunday parade celebrating gay pride to focus on the shooting.

Authorities say two calls to 911 reported that a man was firing a handgun into the air and the ground. When officers arrived, they pursued a suspect on foot and the chase “ended in shots being fired,” police said in a statement.

Frey said in a statement that the body cameras of the officers involved were “on and activated.”

Among the witnesses who said the man did not have a gun was Eva Watson. She told the Star Tribune that the man was starting to comply with officers when police shocked him with a Taser. Watson said he then started running and yelling, “Don’t shoot!” and she then heard more than a dozen shots.

“He didn’t have a gun or anything,” Watson said. “He was just sitting there. He got killed for nothing.”

Katya Kelly, the sister of the man’s girlfriend, said he had a bottle in his hand as he and his girlfriend walked to her house. The Minneapolis NAACP wrote in a Facebook post that witnesses said he had been drinking out of a cup. The group called for body camera footage to be released.

“Honestly, I don’t know what’s going through the community’s minds, but I do know that we continue to be traumatized one time after another,” Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Badue said, according to Minnesota Public Radio . “It’s extremely unfortunate, and we just want answers.”

The man is the 30th person killed by police in Minneapolis since 2000, according to the Star Tribune.

Officials didn’t immediately identify the officers involved in the shooting. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.

A bureau spokeswoman and the head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis didn’t immediately return telephone messages requesting comment from The Associated Press.

Minneapolis has been rocked by the past fatal police shootings of 24-year-old Jamar Clark in November 2015 and 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond in July 2017.

Demonstrators congregated Sunday outside the Fourth Precinct police station, which was the site of protests following Clark’s death. Activists earlier in the day halted the Twin Cities Pride parade in Minneapolis to protest police shootings.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.