BCA names Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed man last week

Officials have identified the officer who shot and killed a man in north Minneapolis last week.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Officer Jason Wolff is a seven-year veteran of the Minneapolis police department.

A report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office said 32-year-old Mario Philip Benjamin died from multiple gun shot wounds in the early morning of Aug. 2, outside a house on the 2400 block of Emerson Ave. N.

BCA investigators say Benjamin allegedly shot and wounded a woman who was lying next to him in the street when officer Wolff arrived at the scene. Police officials have said body camera footage will show that officers gave Benjamin multiple commands to drop his weapon before Wolff opened fire.

The BCA doesn't say how many times Wolff fired. But according to a search warrant filed by a BCA investigator, more than a half dozen 9 mm shell casings were recovered from the scene. The warrant doesn't specify how many shots came from the officer's gun.

A police source has said the woman suffered one non-fatal wound to her shoulder. Investigators say the woman allegedly wounded by Benjamin is still hospitalized. And they say Benjamin and the woman had two children together who witnessed the shooting. Two other children, who were not fathered by Benjamin, also saw what happened, say investigators.

During Wolff’s time with the Minneapolis police department, he has been the subject of seven complaints with the Office of Police Conduct Review. City records show five of those cases were closed without discipline. Two are still open. One investigation was opened this year. However, it's not clear if it involves the shooting.

Benjamin is the third African American man shot and killed by Minneapolis police officers in the last year. Some police accountability advocates say his death is part of a pattern of "overaggressive" policing in predominantly black communities.

The BCA investigation is ongoing. Once it's complete, investigators will turn their findings over to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for review.

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