MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities community is waiting for more information on the latest shooting death involving a police officer.
We know now that Thurman Blevins was shot by police several times after running from officers late Saturday afternoon. We also know more about the 31-year-old’s past encounters with police.
This as the tension rises in north Minneapolis, the area where the shooting happened, and Blevins’ family grapples with grief and confusion.
We have some new information Monday — but there are still some major questions. The autopsy released Monday shows Blevins was shot not once, but multiple times by police.
What’s still not clear is why the officers fired at a man after chasing him for several blocks.
It’s a face now recognized around the Twin Cities. Thurman Blevins is gone. Just like Jamar Clark, Philando Castile and Justine Damond, all shot by Twin Cities police.
“Just like after Jamar Clark was killed, just like after Justine was killed, one of the things we said was he would not be the last to die at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, and sadly we were right,” Fourth precinct protesters said Sunday.
The BCA says it started with a 911 call to north Minneapolis about someone firing shots. Investigators say when officers arrived, Blevins ran with a gun in his hand. They chased him several blocks. Then the 31-year-old was gone.
“Probably 8,9,10 shots altogether so when the shots stopped, I came around the corner and saw the person there laying there on his back, head up in a big pool of blood,” Robert Lang said.
Robert Lang says a handgun was lying near Blevins. The head of the police union says the body camera video will show that Blevins refused to drop his gun.
“It’s gonna show that these officers do just what they’re hired to do. They run to gunfire, not from it, place themselves in harm’s way and had to stop a threat, this was nothing short of heroic activity,” Bob Kroll with the Minneapolis Police Union said.
If Blevins did have a gun, it was not legally permitted because of six felony convictions. One for spitting on and kicking a police officer, two convictions for fleeing officers, illegal possession of a firearm and two convictions for drugs.
As questions linger, Blevins’ family remembers the father of three — and amidst turmoil, asks for peace.
“We definitely want Justice for Junior, Thurman. We want this to go as peaceful as it can go. We don’t want the riots, we don’t want his name tarnished like that,” a family member said.
We expect to get the names of the officers involved soon. We are told they both plan to give statements – something they are not legally required to do. We are also waiting to see if the body camera video will be released.