MINNEAPOLIS — Several businesses were vandalized and looted over night in the Uptown area of Minneapolis where on Thursday, June 3, law enforcement officers shot and killed a man while attempting to make an arrest.
The man, identified by friends and family Friday as 32-year-old Winston Boogie Smith, was wanted for possession of a firearm by a felon, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Protesters gathered near the scene of the 2 p.m. shooting atop a parking ramp at West Lake Street and South Fremont Avenue remained late into the night. Others later took to the streets and were involved in property damage, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said in a statement.
"Thankfully there are no personal injuries that we know of," said Bender, who represents the area where the incident took place.
Police made some arrests, but with activity stretching well into the early morning hours Friday, June 4, a comprehensive number was not expected until midday Friday, said Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder.
A CVS pharmacy on Lake Street had windows smashed in and products strewn about. Some trash cans were set on fire and at least one light pole near Urban Outfitters was damaged. Public Works crews had arrived by 6 a.m. to start cleaning debris left behind, Bender said.
The shooting by Hennepin County sheriff's deputies occurred as authorities pursued a murder suspect, sources said. Minneapolis police were not involved.
The Tires Plus at 1103 Lake Street also had a broken window. Ryan Webber, who works at the shop, said he saw pockets of damage "here and there" but nothing widespread.
The tense situation unfolded as law enforcement closed in on the man, suspected of being a felon in possession of a gun. The suspect, who was in a parked car, "failed to comply and produced a handgun, resulting in task force members firing upon the subject," the Marshals Service said in its statement.
Medics declared the man dead at the scene. A woman in the car was injured by shattered glass.
The Marshals Service said many agencies were involved in the original operation, including officers from the Hennepin, Anoka and Ramsey County sheriff's offices and the federal Department of Homeland Security. Minneapolis police played no role.
The warrant for Smith's arrest was issued in Minnesota, said Marshals Service spokeswoman Nikki Credic-Barrett. It was not clear if the warrant had any relation to a law enforcement scanner report that the man was a suspect in a murder, possibly in another state.
The personnel involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, Credic-Barrett said.
Word of the shooting quickly drew a crowd in a city that has been on edge about deaths involving law enforcement since last year's killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The windows of some nearby storefronts remain covered with plywood, a reminder of the at-times violent civil unrest that followed Floyd's death.
The gunfire erupted on the fifth floor of the parking ramp, which is across the street from Stella's Fish Cafe, according to emergency dispatches that aired the first reports at 2:08 p.m. "One adult male down. One female detained," a first responder reported to dispatch, adding that no officers had been injured.
A bartender who works nearby said several patrons witnessed the shooting. "There were about one or two police cars on the top of the ramp [and then] about five more," he said. "When [all the cars] got to the top, there was eight to 12 shots. [Officers] grabbed the girl … and put her in handcuffs."
An aerial view of the ramp's top level showed a silver SUV with a shattered back window surrounded by other vehicles near a pop-up tent of the type used to shield a crime scene.
A woman who lives across the street from the parking garage said she heard more than a dozen gunshots, followed by a pause, then more gunshots. She asked that her name not be used out of concerns for her safety.
Many of those gathered outside the police tape near Lake Street and South Girard Avenue came simply to watch investigators from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives work. But some chanted insults at Minneapolis police, whose officers were providing perimeter support.
Members of the citizen crime prevention group We Push for Peace mingled with onlookers and those taunting law enforcement, advocating for patience and peace. Others, from the crime-prevention group A Mother's Love, also circulated in the crowd.
"We are very grateful for their support and their work," Bender said.
Many who were chanting anti-police slogans knew little except that officers had killed a man, said Pharoah Merritt of We Push for Peace. "We understand the anger and ire when we see these police shootings," he said. "We don't know anything."
As darkness fell, a few dozen protesters remained. When law enforcement finally cleared the scene about 10 p.m., protesters followed them with taunts. Some also reblocked Lake Street, which had been closed by law enforcement all afternoon.
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