May 31, 2024 - News

MPD officer killed while responding to call

city officials behind a podium

City and state officials gathered for a news conference late last night. Image: City of Minneapolis screenshot via YouTube

The Minneapolis police officer shot and killed in the line of duty yesterday was mourned last night as a hero who "would run towards danger when the rest of us would run in the other direction."

What happened: Jamal Mitchell was killed in what authorities described as an "ambush" by a suspected gunman after responding to a report of a double shooting at an apartment in Whittier.

  • The incident left one other person dead and several others injured, including a police officer, a firefighter, and an "innocent bystander." The suspected shooter died at the scene.

The big picture: Thursday's slaying comes just three months after two Burnsville police officers and a paramedic were shot and killed while responding to a domestic call.

  • Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association executive director Brian Peters said the state's law enforcement community is "devastated and mourning" after another "police officer bravely faced danger and tragically lost his life protecting the community."

Zoom in: Mitchell, who joined the force about a year and a half ago, was honored for rescuing an elderly couple from a fire shortly after joining the department.

  • "I've never met an officer that received an award on the third day on the job," MPD assistant chief Katie Blackwell said at a news conference last night. "He's courageous in every action that he did."

What they're saying: Mayor Jacob Frey, who called Thursday a "devastating" day for the city, described Mitchell as an officer who was deeply committed to his community.

  • "We will honor his sacrifice. We will remember his name. We will never forget what he did for the people of our city, the lives that he protected," he said of Mitchell, who is survived by his fiancé and a child.

What we know: Details were limited Thursday, as officials described a chaotic scene that involved multiple victims inside and outside an apartment complex.

  • Blackwell said officers responding to a call reporting a double shooting on the 2200 block of Blaisdell Ave. S "received gunfire immediately" and returned fire.
  • Mitchell was "ambushed" as he arrived near the scene and tried to help an injured victim, Drew Evans of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said. Chief Brian O'Hara said in a statement early Friday that the injured man pulled out a gun "and assassinated Officer Mitchell and continued to shoot him after he fell to the ground."
  • Two men were found inside the apartment with gunshot wounds. One died and the other was gravely injured, Blackwell said.
  • A bystander who was shot was hospitalized in critical condition. A second officer, who exchanged fire with the suspect shortly after Mitchell arrived, and a firefighter were also injured.
  • The suspect was shot and pronounced dead at the scene.

What we're watching: Evans said while they believe there was "some level of acquaintance amongst the people that were in the apartment," investigators are still working to identify a motive for the shootings.

Full story.

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