MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis police officers who shot and killed a 31-year-old black man over the weekend have been identified.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) announced Tuesday that the officers who shot Thurman Blevins were Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt.
Sources tell WCCO-TV that Kelly and Schmidt gave interviews to BCA investigators on Monday.
According to police records, Kelly has had five complaints against him that were closed with no discipline since joining the department in 2013. Schmidt started with the department a year later in 2014. His file shows two complaints have been closed with no discipline, one remains open.
Prior to joining the Minneapolis Police Department, Schmidt served in the military and was deployed several times during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
According to Archway Defense, a private company where Schmidt trained law enforcement and civilians, he has taught firearms and use of force.
The BCA says both Kelly and Schmidt fired their service weapons Saturday afternoon, killing Blevins near the 4800 block of Bryant Avenue North.
An autopsy showed that Blevins died from multiple gunshot wounds.
According to earlier information released by the BCA, Kelly and Schmidt responded to the northside neighborhood after a 911 caller said a man was firing a handgun into the air.
When the officers arrived at the scene, they found Blevins sitting on the curb with a woman. He ran off, and officers gave chase for several blocks.
During the pursuit, both officers fired their guns. Blevins died at the scene.
A handgun was recovered, the BCA reports. However, some witnesses say that they didn’t see Blevins with a gun.
Footage from the officers’ body cameras, which authorities say were activated during shooting, has yet to be released.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Tuesday night that he plans to release the footage after the BCA interviews all the key witnesses.
“Real transparency does not allow for unnecessary delay before information is released,” he said in a statement. “It means full and thoughtful disclosure of information, and an unwavering commitment to fairness and justice.”
At the scene where Blevins died, there is a makeshift memorial, where his family members and loved ones keep constant vigil.
“Here we are several days later, and we still don’t have any answers,” said Nekima Levy-Pounds, a civil rights activist and spokesperson for Blevins’ family.
“They cannot get any information, they don’t even know when his body will be released to them, so they cannot make funeral arrangements, which is adding a great deal of stress to them,” Levy-Pounds said.
The family says they’ve been told it could take up to six months before Blevins’ body is released for burial.