MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota state authorities are investigating after Minneapolis police shot and killed a black man they say was firing a handgun as he walked outside.
A demonstration was planned for Sunday afternoon at a police precinct headquarters and a vigil near the north Minneapolis shooting scene was set for the evening. Some witnesses have disputed the police account of the shooting, saying the man did not have a gun. As of Sunday morning, there had been no violence or arrests, the Star Tribune reported .
"At the end of the day, we know that no matter what transpired in the moments leading up to the shooting, we know with certainty that the outcome is a tragedy," Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement. He didn’t march in a Sunday parade celebrating gay pride to focus on the shooting.
Authorities say two calls to 911 reported that a man was firing a handgun into the air and the ground. When officers arrived, they pursued a suspect on foot and the chase "ended in shots being fired," police said in a statement.
Frey said in a statement that the body cameras of the officers involved were "on and activated."
Among the witnesses who said the man did not have a gun was Eva Watson. She told the Star Tribune that the man was starting to comply with officers when police shocked him with a Taser. Watson said he then started running and yelling, "Don’t shoot!" and she then heard more than a dozen shots.
"He didn’t have a gun or anything," Watson said. "He was just sitting there. He got killed for nothing."
Katya Kelly, the sister of the man’s girlfriend, said he had a bottle in his hand as he and his girlfriend walked to her house. The Minneapolis NAACP wrote in a Facebook post that witnesses said he had been drinking out of a cup. The group called for body camera footage to be released.
"Honestly, I don’t know what’s going through the community’s minds, but I do know that we continue to be traumatized one time after another," Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Badue said, according to Minnesota Public Radio . "It’s extremely unfortunate, and we just want answers."
Officials didn’t immediately identify the officers involved. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.
A bureau spokeswoman and the head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis didn’t immediately return telephone messages requesting comment from The Associated Press.
Minneapolis has been rocked by the past fatal police shootings of 24-year-old Jamar Clark in November 2015 and 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond in July 2017.
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