Accounts of the fatal Minneapolis police-involved shooting differ amid unrest

Thurman Blevins was shot and killed by the police in Minneapolis.


The police and the testimony of an officer-involved fatal shooting of a black man in Minneapolis vary widely, as well as protests erupted on Sunday over the killing.

Minneapolis police said that officers responded to a call at midnight Saturday of a man firing a gun in the air and on the ground, according to the Star Tribune. The police said the man, identified as 30-year-old Thurman Blevins, ran from officers after being confronted. He was later shot to death behind a garage, police said.

However, witness accounts of the incident differ.

Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Badue called for the attention of the crowd gathered to lead a prayer in response to an officer-involved shooting in Minneapolis.

(Aaron Lavinsky/the Star Tribune via AP)

Katja Kelly, the sister of Blevins’ girlfriend, told the Star Tribune that Blevins had been drinking and had a bottle in his hands as they walked to Kelly’s house. Eva Watson, another witness, said Blevins was drinking from the bottle with his girlfriend and a toddler in a stroller.

James Lark told the newspaper that he heard the police tell Blevins not to move. He said officers used a Taser on Blevins, who then tried to run away. Lark said he heard multiple shots then.

“I heard it was nine, 10, 11, 12 shots,” Lark told the Star Tribune. “They opened him up there in the alley.”

Watson said that she heard Blevins say: “don’t shoot!”

“He had a gun or something,” she said. “He was just sitting. He was killed for nothing.”

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Sunday that officers recovered a silver handgun at the scene, according to CBS Minnesota.

The police in Detroit say officers shot and killed a man who was firing a gun as he walked a street in the city.

(Aaron Lavinsky/the Star Tribune via AP)

“When the evidence is, will the tone of these officers do exactly what they are hired to do. They walk to shoot, not out, and himself in danger and stopping a threat. This is nothing short of heroic activity,” Minneapolis police union president Lt. Bob Kroll said. “It is our belief that body cameras will reveal what happened, that the officers were subject to a threat. There were numerous commands to drop the firearm, the defendant is not in accordance with these commands.”

A source told the Star Tribune that at least one officer’s body camera captured the shooting.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people flooded Minneapolis in response to the shooting.

A wake in the vicinity of the shooting site, which attracted about 250 people on Sunday, including Mayor Jacob Frey. The police Medaria Arradondo turned out on a demonstration earlier in the day at a police district.

Arradondo vowed that the investigation would be transparent.

“The public’s trust is the absolute cornerstone of what I want to see in terms of our culture on the Minneapolis Police Department,” he said, adding residents “can be assured, there will be a fair and thorough investigation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

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