MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man was shot and killed by police after allegedly carjacking a taxi cab in Minneapolis and leading police on a lengthy chase. Traffic in parts of the Twin Cities was tied up Thursday morning in the aftermath of the carjacking, which began in the Lowry Hill Tunnel.
Authorities said a man riding in a Red & White taxi cab pulled a gun on the cabbie along westbound Interstate 94 around 5 a.m.
The driver stopped in the tunnel and the suspect wound up carjacking the cab.
A police pursuit ensued through northeast Minneapolis that ended during the morning rush hour. Police put out stop sticks on northbound Interstate 35E, just south of the split with 35W.
The suspect ran over the spike strips on 35E at 80th Street in Columbus, causing the vehicle to go off the road and come to a stop in the right-side ditch.
Officers approached the vehicle and the man was shot and killed. A weapon was recovered at the scene but police say the details leading up to the shooting are still being investigated. They would not say whether the suspect pulled the gun on police or if he fired his weapon.
Police say until an autopsy can be completed, the suspect’s name will not be released. A total of six officers were involved in the incident and are all on administrative leave, per typical protocol. The officers include three state troopers, two Brooklyn Park police officers and one Minneapolis police officer.
The identities of the officers involved will not be released until all can be interviewed by investigators.
Authorities said the taxi cab driver who was carjacked is fine.
The manager of the cab company said he dropped the cab driver off at home Thursday afternoon. He said the driver wasn’t hurt but is at home resting with his family.
“The driver is good. He is at home and safe. He did the right thing and walked away from it and let the guy have the car,” said Pat White, general manager at Red and White Taxi.
White said the driver was flagged down by the suspect in South Minneapolis around 5 a.m. He was told to drive to an address in Brooklyn Park, which the cab driver figured out didn’t exist.
When the man couldn’t provide cash or a credit card, the driver pulled over in the Lowry Tunnel and asked the man to get out. That’s when the suspect carjacked him.
“Here we go again. We have had problems before, and as the economy gets bad we are going to have some more. It’s going to happen,” said White.
I-35E was closed in the area of I-35W as authorities continued to investigate. It was reopened around 1:30 p.m.
Officials say they have video from their squad cams of the incident, which will be part of the investigation. There were no officers injured in the shooting.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will continue to investigate.