Investigators say man fired rifle before police shot him

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A police car blocks off a street
A Minneapolis police car blocks the entrance to Thomas Avenue North, where officers fatally shot a man on Sunday.
Cody Nelson | MPR News file

Updated: 8:55 p.m.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Wednesday released the names of the nine Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man early Sunday.

Chiasher Fong Vue, 52, died of multiple gunshot wounds outside his north Minneapolis home following a domestic violence call that police say ended with an armed confrontation.

In a statement, the BCA says a 911 caller reported that Vue had been carrying a knife and shooting a gun inside the home on Thomas Avenue North. Officers phoned Vue, and through an interpreter, tried to convince him to come outside.

Investigators say Vue appeared briefly at the door, but went back inside the house and returned with a rifle. At one point, he began shooting. Officers returned fire and fatally shot Vue. “Portions of the incident” were captured on police body-worn cameras, according to the statement.

The BCA says eight officers, Donnell Crayton, Daniel Ledman, Kyle Pond, Travis Williams, Jason Wolff, Aaron Womble, Toua Yang and Sgt. Troy Carlson, each fired their guns. A ninth officer, Andrew Reed, discharged “less lethal munitions.”

The men have an average tenure of nine years with the Minneapolis Police Department.

Authorities say several family members escaped the home unharmed. Another who remained inside and was not injured during the incident was taken to North Memorial Hospital to be examined for “an unrelated condition.”

One of the officers, Jason Wolff, shot and killed Mario Benjamin, 32, in August also in north Minneapolis. BCA investigators said in a preliminary investigation that Benjamin allegedly shot and wounded a woman with whom Benjamin had two children. Police said body camera footage would show Wolff gave the man orders to drop his weapon before firing.

Also Wednesday, a Minneapolis watchdog group sued the city alleging officials have failed to release basic information about a fatal officer-involved shooting.

Michelle Gross with Communities United Against Police Brutality said the city continues to withhold facts in violation of the Minnesota Data Practices Act.

"We are just tired of going around in circles with them every single time where they drag their feet,” Gross said. “And we need to make the point that the law is the law and they need to follow it."

A judge has scheduled a hearing in the case for Thursday afternoon.

In a statement, interim City Attorney Erik Nilsson says the city takes its data practices obligations seriously, and the process to post public information about the incident is underway.

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