CRYSTAL, Minn. (KMSP) - Witness cell phone video captured the sounds of police gunfire in an officer-involved shooting Wednesday morning on the disc golf course of Bassett Creek Park in Crystal, Minnesota.
Soon after the shots were fired, a wave of law enforcement descended on the scene.
“It was like watching COPS on TV,” said witness Diane Meyer.
Meyer witnessed some of the encounter between police and a man authorities said was armed with a handgun.
“I heard some shots. I thought they were fireworks,” Meyer said. “I looked outside and could see police actively crouching and moving toward what I am assuming is the suspect, so I did see them while actively shooting.”
Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering said she has no idea how many gunshots were fired, but the sounds of approximately 10 gunshots can be heard on witness video provided to Fox 9.
According to Chief Revering, dispatch received a call just before 9 a.m. from a tenant of a nearby apartment complex, reporting a man with a gun in the park. Officers responded and the chief said they repeatedly ordered the man to drop his weapon. Witnesses confirmed that account.
Eventually, police opened fire. Chief Revering said she isn’t sure if the man shot at officers, but they believed they were in “imminent danger.” Officers immediately provided first aid to the man, who was then taken to the hospital.
“The job of our law enforcement officers who patrol this city every day is one of the toughest jobs in the country,” Revering said. “These men and women put their lives on the line every day.”
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension took over the investigation into the shooting. By mid-afternoon, a couple of BCA agents were combing the rooftop of the nearby apartment complex, though it’s unclear what connection it might have to the incident.
The officers involved in this shooting are on standard administrative leave. While we don't know how many officers were involved, we know none of them were injured. Authorities are not releasing the name of the man shot by police. The man’s condition has not been released, but he was said to be in surgery earlier Wednesday.
Preliminary statement from Crystal Police Department
“On 5/24/17, at approximately 0854 hours, Crystal PD officers were dispatched to Bassett Creek Park in response to a man with a gun. During our response to this incident, an officer involved shooting did occur.”
Statement from Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering
"This morning at 0854 hours, Crystal officers were dispatched to Bassett Creek Park in response to a black male with a handgun. A resident of the apartment building adjacent to the park called police to report the individual with the handgun stating he was near the frisbee park.
"Upon arrival, officers located the individual with the handgun and repeatedly told him to drop the weapon.
"Our officers, believing they were in imminent danger, discharged their firearms toward the suspect and then immediately provided first aid. The suspect was taken by medics to the hospital.
"The job of our law enforcement officers who patrol our city every day is one of the toughest jobs in this country. These men and women put their lives on the line every day. The number of guns on the streets of the metro area and the growing number of shootings makes an already difficult job that much more dangerous. Today, I stand before you thankful that we have officers, like ours, that are willing to respond to calls such as this one on a day to day basis."