MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - In a statement released by her attorney, the woman who witnessed the shooting of Winston Smith by law enforcement last week in Minneapolis says she didn't see Smith with a gun during the incident.
Smith was killed when deputies on a U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force opened fire Thursday, June 3 as they attempted to arrest Smith for a firearm violation at a parking ramp off Lake Street near Hennepin Avenue in Uptown.
According to the United States Marshals Service, Smith pulled a gun during the attempted arrest and a Hennepin County deputy and a Ramsey County deputy both fired their guns, hitting Smith who died at the scene.
A 27-year-old woman inside the vehicle, who attorneys said was on a lunch date with Smith, was injured by glass debris. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the woman claimed that she never saw a gun in the vehicle.
"She never saw a gun on Winston Smith and she never saw a gun inside the vehicle at any time," recited attorney Racey Rodne.
Investigating the shooting, the Minnesota BCA said they found evidence that Smith had fired shots and had recovered a gun and spent cartridge casings from inside the vehicle. In a statement, BCA officials say they stand by this information.
The BCA says, so far, they have been unable to get any video showing the shooting. Due to U.S. Marshal Service policy, local law enforcement was not allowed to use their body cameras during the incident. Following the deadly shooting, sheriffs from Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka counties announced their deputies will not serve on any task force until the policy changes.
For several nights after Smith's death, protesters took to the streets. During the unrest, multiple businesses were vandalized and several fires were set in the streets.