Warrant says police were trying to catch Idd in illegal gun sale; officers ID'd in the fatal shooting

A photo of a man wearing a suit and smiling
Bayle Gelle shows a photo of his son, Dolal Idd, who he says was fatally shot by Minneapolis police Wednesday near the intersection of 36th Street East and Cedar Avenue.
Jon Collins | MPR News file

Updated: 7:24 p.m.

Minneapolis police suspected Dolal Idd had a high-capacity pistol and other guns and were trying to arrest him before their confrontation last week at a gas station turned fatal, according to court documents filed Monday.

Police shot Idd, 23, Wednesday outside a Holiday at East 36th Street and Cedar Avenue. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Monday identified three Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting as officer Paul Huynh, who has been with the Police Department for six years; Sgt. Darcy Klund, a 33-year veteran; and officer Jason Schmitt, a 23-year veteran. All three have been placed on standard administrative leave, the BCA says.

According to city records, Huynh has been the subject of seven civilian complaint investigations; Klund has been the subject of four; And Schmitt has been named in 24 complaints. None of the officers were disciplined in those cases. Schmitt was named in a misconduct lawsuit based on an incident in 2007 in which a man accused Schmitt of striking him with a rifle during an arrest. That suit settled in 2014 for $7,000.

A preliminary report from the BCA on Monday also said that Idd fired his weapon first and the three officers returned fire.

Idd’s death — the first police killing in the city since George Floyd’s death in May — has led to protests and scrutiny over how authorities searched his family’s home hours after Idd was killed.

Rally and march calling for justice for Dolal Idd
Hundreds of people fill the street during a rally and march calling for justice for Dolal Idd on Sunday in south Minneapolis. Idd was shot and killed by Minneapolis police on Dec. 30, 2020.
Nicole Neri for MPR News

A search warrant application made public Monday morning details what police say led them to try and apprehend Idd and reveals why law enforcement searched the Eden Prairie, Minn., residence after the shooting. 

Minneapolis police say its Community Response Team was using a confidential informant to buy a “Mac-10 high capacity pistol” from Idd. And police said the informant told them Idd had additional firearms at his residence — the same address shared by his father and several other family members.

According to the warrant application, BCA crime scene personnel saw a "black and silver handgun between the suspect's body and the center console of the vehicle." The agency also recovered “a MAC-10 assault-style handgun” from Idd’s car. It’s not clear from the warrant whether a gun had exchanged hands that night.

The BCA’s preliminary report said that when officers tried to arrest Idd Wednesday, he struck several police vehicles with his own car. Idd then fired his weapon and officers killed him when they returned fire, the report says. A body-camera video clip released the next day of the shooting appeared to show shards of glass shattering outward from the car Idd was driving.

The warrant application also says the female passenger in the car with Idd identified herself as his girlfriend and said she only knew Idd by his nickname, “Bird.”  

The warrant application was signed by an investigator at 12:13 a.m. Thursday  and was approved by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who is also presiding over the trial of the former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd. More than two hours later, at 2:20 a.m., a team of deputies arrived at the Idd household with guns drawn.

According to the warrant, police felt it was necessary to search the house before Idd's family learned of the death and could move or destroy evidence. No weapons were found at the house.

Activists and Idd’s relatives have condemned the raid and have questioned why family members were notified of Idd’s death only after they were roused from their sleep and placed in zip-tie handcuffs. 

Rally and march calling for justice for Dolal Idd
Bayle Adod Gelle, Dolal Idd's father, is comforted after speaking to the crowd at a rally calling for justice for his son on Sunday in south Minneapolis.
Nicole Neri for MPR News

The warrant also said the gun sale would have been illegal and that Idd was not allowed to have firearms. Idd was convicted of two felonies related to theft and drugs. State law prohibits people with felonies on their record from owning firearms. He also has a weapons history. In 2018, police say Idd, then 21, fired a gun in his family’s basement while two younger children were sleeping on the same level, according to Southwest News Media

Meanwhile, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced Monday his office — rather than Hennepin County — will review the case to make a decision on whether any of the officers should be charged. Backstrom said the request came from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.

Last week, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office released a statement saying it would not likely become involved in the case because of a change in protocol put in place this past June. Officials said one of Hennepin’s neighboring counties — Anoka, Dakota, Ramsey or Washington — would take the case.

The prosecutors in Dakota County will determine whether the Minneapolis police “were legally justified to use deadly force under Minnesota law, and if not, to handle any prosecution which may result,” Backstrom said Monday.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.