CRYSTAL, Minn. (WCCO) — Gunfire erupted inside a city park in Crystal just before 9 a.m. Wednesday. Officers arrived to find a man with a gun, who refused to drop it.

Many who live by Bassett Creek Park heard the commotion and gunshots. One neighbor captured the terrifying sounds on her cell phone.

Crystal police say it was a resident in an apartment close to Bassett Creek Park who called to let them know a man was walking around inside the park with a handgun. Once officers arrived, their command to the man to drop his weapon was followed by a barrage of bullets.

“Right off of my balcony I could see everything,” said Tamisha Caples.

Caples says the sound of gunfire interrupted her morning routine.

“My child was leaving out for his school bus. He ran back in saying Mom they shooting the police out here,” Caples said.

Capers recorded the interaction between police and the man with a gun. It happened just before 9 a.m. inside Bassett Creek Park. Someone living close by called police to alert them to the situation.

“Officer located the man with the handgun and repeatedly asked him to drop the weapon. Our officers, believing they were in imminent danger, discharged their firearms toward the suspect and then immediately provided first aid,” said Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering.

“An ambulance was backing out of there with apparently somebody in it,” said Dr. Willie.

Dr. Willie and his dog Louie were walking in the park when they heard gun shots.

“There were a lot of different officers, all of a sudden there are state highway patrol cars,” said Dr. Willie.

Officers blocked off the scene, and during a search of the area recovered a gun. Police are releasing few details, but Capers says she heard and recorded police trying their best to get the man in the park to put down his gun.

“I heard them say put your hands up I heard them say he pointing at me and that’s when they started shooting,” Caples said.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard in a police-involved shooting.

The man shot by police is expected to survive. Investigators have lots of questions and few answers at this hour. They hope to determine how many officers fired their weapon, and if the suspect fired his weapon. Revering said it also remains unclear as to why the man was in the park with a gun.

The BCA is heading up the investigation to figure out if the shooting was justified.


Reg Chapman