Reporting Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A domestic call turned deadly early Saturday morning after police opened fire on a man they say had a knife.
It happened around 2:15 a.m. in an apartment building on the 3000 block of 19th Avenue South. Police say when they got there they heard screams and had to force their way inside. A neighbor called, alerting police to the situation, authorities said.
But the family of Del Shawn Crawford, Sr., the man who was shot and killed, said the situation was under control when police forced their way in and opened fire.
Brandy Lewis, Crawford’s girlfriend, described the situation as family night gone bad. It was all going well, she said, until Crawford started drinking.
“He grabbed a knife; he didn’t threaten me with it, he just held it,” she said.
Lewis admits they were arguing, but says things were not out of control.
“I wasn’t screaming,” she said. “I was having a conversation with my boyfriend, saying ‘Shawn, put down the knife, Shawn, put down the knife.’”
Lewis says Crawford eventually did put down the knife.
“He put it down on my table, right on the corner of my dining room table,” she said. “And it sat there and he didn’t touch it no more.”
Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Janee Harteau said when police arrived at the scene, they heard screaming inside. However, no one would let them in the building.
“So they forced entry and as soon as the door opened a man brandished a knife and approached the officers,” Harteau said.
Police said officers had no choice but to fire on Crawford in self-defense. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lewis says that’s not what happened. She said she had no idea who was kicking down her door until shots were fired.
“All I heard after the shots: ‘Police, put your hands up,’” she said.
Police said this version of the story does not match with what investigators were told.
The officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure, while the investigation by homicide and internal affairs detectives continues.