A man in his 50s is dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after he allegedly fired at police responding to a northeast Minneapolis home to investigate a 911 hang-up call.
Officers arrived at the house on the 3400 block of NE. 5th Street just before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The occupants inside, communicating with officers through a window, directed police to the rear of the house.
In a news conference Wednesday, Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander said an officer heard a cry for help and entered the residence, then faced a man pointing a gun at him.
They exchanged gunfire. Alexander said he didn't know if the man was shot, but he said one officer, who he did not name, suffered minor injuries, possibly from shrapnel or debris.
A few minutes later, another person in the house told officers that the man with the gun had shot himself, Alexander said.
A woman, girl and boy inside the residence were able to get out as police went in and found the man with an apparent fatal gunshot wound lying on the floor. Officers also found a gun in the house, said Minneapolis police spokesman Howie Padilla.
Alexander described the people in the house as "young people," possibly family members of the shooter. "We believe those cries [for help] did come from one of those young people," he said.
Alexander said the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office will release the name of the deceased person along with the cause of death. He praised the officers for reacting quickly to a fast-moving situation with little information and in close quarters.
"They did exactly what they were trained to do under those circumstances," he said.
Alexander said he didn't know who shot first, but said the officer "had the right to protect himself" once a person aimed a gun at him.
The officer who was injured during the exchange of gunfire was treated and released Wednesday night, Alexander said.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is leading the investigation. Officers were wearing body cameras that were active during the incident, Padilla said.
Alexander said the city will release body-camera footage after discussions with BCA and in accordance with data laws.
In a prepared statement, Minneapolis police union president Sherral Schmidt commended the officers' bravery. "They put the safety of others before their own," said Schmidt. "Our officers acted quickly and bravely to protect the victim from further harm. We are thankful our officers are safe."
Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, echoed the sentiment, calling it an example of "the dangers police officers face every day to keep communities safe."