MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The man shot by police in north Minneapolis Saturday evening was sitting on a curb and immediately fled when officers pulled up, according to a preliminary report from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Police reported he was carrying a gun.
Sometime during the ensuing chase officers fired their weapons, striking and killing the man community members later identified as Thurman Blevins. The chase lasted for several blocks and Blevins was pronounced dead at the scene.
“These obviously are very dynamic situations," Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said. "They can cause certainly folks in the community to feel trauma. We are trying to provide to our community members as we receive it, and so that transparency and open communication is going to be very important.”
Tensions spilled over in the shooting's aftermath, with hundreds of protesters taking to the streets surrounding the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct headquarters Sunday. Despite being a preplanned event, another group even stopped the annual Twin Cities Pride Parade for several minutes as many said their protest over police involvement in the weekend festival took on added importance due to the Saturday night's events.
Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll called the incident an example of the "heroic" work that goes on every day by officers, urging the public to wait for the BCA's investigation to be completed before jumping to conclusion.
"This exemplifies the heroic work that occurs in our department," he said. "It should be categorized as such, not by issuing vague threats to be publicly disobedient or wishing ill will to the officers who were involved. This call highlights the dangers that law enforcement faces nationwide."
According to authorities, the incident began Saturday when an anonymous caller reported a man was walking around with a gun on the 4700 block of Bryant Avenue North. The caller "provided very detailed information about the appearance and descriptions," according to an MPD spokesperson.
Police then received a second call of a person walking and firing a silver 9mm handgun into the air and subsequently into the ground.
Blevins was reportedly sitting with another woman near the intersection of 48th and Camden Avenues North a short time later when officers arrived, and ran away as they began exiting their vehicles.
Police body cameras captured the incident, officials said, and both officers involved in the incident have been placed on standard administrative leave. The shooting remains under investigation.