MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Minneapolis Police Department has released the 911 transcripts from last month’s fatal shooting of 31-year-old Thurman Blevins by police. Blevins, 31, was shot and killed on Saturday, June 23 after two Minneapolis police officers chased him into an alley on the 4700 block of Bryant Avenue North.
According to the Minneapolis Police Department's initial report, at 5:26 p.m., an anonymous caller reported that a man was firing a handgun in the area. That caller provided a "very detailed description of the suspect and his clothing." Police say a second 911 call stated the suspect was shooting a silver-colored 9mm handgun.
Operator: 911. What is the address of—
Caller: Uh, yeah there’s a guy walking around shooting off his gun and he looks intoxicated and um, that’s just not safe around here.
Operator: When the person—
Caller: He uh, light skinned—
Caller: He just blew off a shot like 5 minutes ago and before that he got off another shot 20 minutes ago.
Operator: Is he shooting at people or into the air?
Caller: No. Just in the air and at the ground.
Caller: He’s shooting in the air and he’s shooting at the ground.
Operator: Okay, one moment.
Operator: Is anybody shot or is it just that he is being reckless with the gun?
Caller: There’s like three people, three kids (inaudible) neighborhood walking around with a drink, like he drinking and shooting a gun (inaudible-muffled).
Operator: I’m sorry. Your phone is cutting in and out. Can you hear me okay?
Caller: Yeah. I can hear you.
Operator: Okay, Describe the gun.
Caller: Uhhhh. It’s like a Nine. A silver 9 millimeter. if I’m not mistaken. It’s chrome at the top but um he’s uh he’s like 6 feet, light skin. He gotta bald—
Operator: Hang on. Hang on. I’ll get a description in a second. Where is he now?
Caller: Uh. Walking up (inaudible).
Operator: Your phones cutting out.
Caller: He’s walking up 46th and Bryant and he was (inaudible) like he was walking towards Lyndale.
Operator: So he was going eastbound on 46th?
Caller: Uh. Like they (inaudible)—
Operator: Towards (inaudible)—
Caller: He was going northbound. Yeah. He’s going northbound on Bryant. Going up towards the numbers on Bryant. He walking at uh, 46th. He was walking up the numbers and uh and I think he live in the neighb—
Operator: So he was northbound on Bryant from what street?
Caller: Uh, 46th and Bryant. And he’s walking back and forth to Lyndale. He’s walking back and forth.
Operator: Okay. I need to get his description. Do you know his name?
Caller: Uh, no. I don’t know his name, um, I just know he’s like 6 feet, ah, he got like a bald head tapered. He got a—
Operator: How old does he look to be?—
Caller: He have a wife beater. Uh, like almost 36. 35. He got a wife beater on. He walking around with a back pack. A black back pack.
Operator: What color is the tank top?
Caller: Uh. I believe it is white or grey. Cause when he let of the shot, I left! I ran!
Operator: Right. And you said he was like 35, 36?
Caller: Yeah, like 35, 36. He had no facial hair. He had a bald head taper with designs in it.
Operator: Yep. Yep. You told me. Is he thin, medium or heavy?
Caller: Um. Like 180.
Operator: Are you or anybody else in danger right now?
Operator: Can you see him from where you’re at?
Operator: I’m just asking if you can see him from where you are.
Caller: Oh. No. I cannot see him from where I’m at.
Operator: Does anybody need an ambulance?
Caller: Uh, no. I don’t think, like I said, I don’t think he had shot anybody. He just shooting in the air. And he shot another one in the ground. By the time he shot the second one in the ground, I (redacted). And didn’t look back.
Operator: Okay. How do you know he was drunk?
Caller: Uh, because he had a big bottle of Amsterdam on him.
Operator: Okay. He was carrying it around with him?
Caller: Yes he was. He got a (inaudible). He got a (inaudible). (Inaudible) and we all seen him do it (inaudible) shot and that’s why everybody started running away. Made (inaudible) jump, man! You gotta move around before he shoots somebody!
Caller: He let off that second shot and everybody started running!
Operator: Alright. Don’t approach him. An officer will be dispatched—
Caller: Oh, I’m not!
Operator: --as soon as possible.
Operator: Did you want the police to come and talk to you or just try and find him?
Caller: Oh. No, no, no, no ma’am! I don’t want to be labeled as a snitch. Could be killed doing s--- like this. Please do not send no cops. Don’t say my name. I just want to be (inaudible)
Operator: I won’t. I understand. I haven’t asked your name. Can you confirm your phone number for me please?
Operator: I’m sorry your phones cutting out. Hello?
Caller: (muffled talking in the background)
Operator: Can you hear me?
Caller: Yeah. Can you hear me?
Operator: Can you confirm your phone number for me please?
Caller: I don’t know my phone number ma’am.
Operator: I already have it. I just have to ask you to confirm it.
Caller: (Inaudible) I don’t want to give it to you. If you already got it...I be knowing so much right now, I don’t, I don’t—
Operator: Okay. If anything changes or you have any further information.
Caller: Okay. Thank you.
Operator: You’re welcome. Bye-Bye.
Police make contact with Blevins
When officers arrived, Blevins was sitting with a woman on the curb near the intersection of 48th Avenue North and N. Camden Avenue, according to the preliminary report from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He fled as the officers were exiting their squad car. He was reportedly carrying a black and silver gun, but some witnesses dispute that.
The officers pursued Blevins on foot for several blocks. At one point during the encounter, they fired their weapons, striking Blevins. He was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner determined he died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Investigators recovered a black and silver handgun at the scene.
Neighbor heard no gunshots
Neighbor Jennie Cauwels was sitting on her deck Saturday when she heard Blevins having a heated discussion with a woman.
“What I did hear is a conversation that was happening over here—it was a male voice and a female voice arguing back and forth, nothing huge,” she said.
Despite at least one 911 call from the neighborhood about Blevins firing a gun in the air, Cauwels told Fox 9 she never heard gunshots prior to Minneapolis police arriving.
“I wholeheartedly believe that there were not gunshots fired in my neighborhood on that day," she said.
Minneapolis police officers identified
Both officers involved in the shooting are on standard administrative leave. The officers have been identified as Officer Ryan Kelly and Officer Justin Schmidt.
The Minneapolis Police Department released the redacted personnel files for both officers last week, including their employment history, training records and awards and commendations.
Schmidt joined the department in 2014 and Kelly in 2013. Employee complaint data released earlier in the week shows both officers also have complaints against them, but most were closed without discipline. Officer Schmidt still has one open complaint in his file.
Protest at 4th Precinct
Approximately 100 people protested outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct Sunday evening, demanding the two officers involved in the deadly shooting of Thurman Blevins, a 31-year-old man, be fired.
Blevins’ family said they won’t sit back and let the process unfold. Activists across the metro have joined the family in the protests. Many have vowed to keep the protests going—whether it’s at the 4th precinct where the officers work, or in other parts of the city.
Body camera footage
Body cameras worn by the officers were activated at the time and recorded the deadly shooting.
The BCA and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey have issued conflicting statements about when the footage will be released to the public. Frey said it will be released once the family sees it and after key witnesses are interviewed, but the BCA said it could take weeks for the evidence to be analyzed.