Crime, Law and Justice

Video: Suspect who shot Minneapolis officer Mitchell kept shooting as police came to help

police officers
Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara walks through body-worn camera videos during a press briefing on Friday.
Kerem Yucel | MPR News

Police body camera video released Friday revealed the chaos that gripped the scene in south Minneapolis on May 30 as officers responded to a 911 call for help and shots fired that turned quickly into an officer-down emergency with officer Jamal Mitchell shot and killed by a person he intended to help.

Edited video released Friday from the body-worn cameras of multiple officers, including Mitchell’s, detail the harrowing moments as police arrived and moved into action to try to find the shooter or shooters as gunshots rang out.

On Mitchell’s video, he’s seen rolling up and radioing in to dispatch: “It looks like we have at least two victims outside at the location, bleeding.” He gets out of his squad, puts on latex gloves and calls to a man lying by a car, “Hey, who shot you?” He asks if there are victims inside the building.

Mitchell’s video fragment ends with an image of the man, later identified as Mustafa Mohamed, raising a handgun as the officer approached. According to other witnesses who called 911, Mohamed, 35, began firing while on the ground, hitting Mitchell.

body camera video from an officer approaching a man on the ground
A screenshot of video from Officer Jamal Mitchell's body worn camera shows him approaching Mustafa Ahmed Mohamed on Blaisdell Avenue in Minneapolis seconds before Mohamed fatally shot Mitchell on May 30.
Courtesy Minneapolis Police Department

Mitchell arrived on scene around 5:18 p.m., but he didn’t make it to the apartment of the original 911 call. He stopped about a block away from the apartment and reported seeing the two injured men in the street.

“Officer Mitchell never had a chance to draw his handgun,” Brian O’Hara, the Minneapolis police chief, told reporters Friday as he released the video. Answering reporter questions later, O’Hara said Mitchell was “trying to help somebody he thought was shot and in need of aid, in need of care. He did absolutely nothing wrong and was very suddenly and without provocation ambushed and assassinated.”

Mitchell, 36, died at the hospital.

‘Cop down, middle of the street’

a booking photo of a man
Mustafa Mohamed, pictured in an unrelated booking photo from September 2022.
Courtesy Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

Other video released Friday included body camera footage from officers Luke Kittock and Nicholas Kapinos. They arrived about 3 1/2 minutes after the first rounds struck Mitchell.

In their videos, volleys of gunshots can be heard as they come up on the scene near Blaisdell Avenue and 22nd Street asking people where the shooter is and also trying to understand if there are multiple shooters.

“Multiple shots fired … cop down. There is a cop down, middle of the street, middle of the street a block north,” Kapinos can be heard saying on the video amid gunshots and the dispatcher’s voice trying to keep officers up to date.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, other officers arrived at the scene and saw Mohamed continuing to shoot Mitchell and then turning his fire on the approaching officers; Kapinos and Kittock shot Mohamed, who died at the scene.

“I think in general people do not appreciate the complexity of responding to these incidents,” O’Hara said. “These are legitimate emergencies, especially when you’re going into a report of an active shooter with multiple people shot and an officer down.” 

Earlier in the week Minneapolis released 911 call transcripts that include more details of what happened on May 30. O’Hara said Friday he’d honored a request from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to delay release of the video to avoid potentially interfering with the BCA investigation around Mitchell’s killing.

Because the BCA’s investigation continues, O’Hara said he couldn’t discuss many details of the incident, including how many shots Mohamed may have fired.

Osman Said Jimal, 32, was killed in the initial shooting in the apartment; Mohamed Bashir Aden, 36, died of his injuries a week later. Investigators have not said what may have led to the first shooting.

A driver passing near the scene, a firefighter and an officer were also injured during the shooting.

While police work to de-escalate situations, “unfortunately, sometimes very tragically, police officers cannot talk every armed individual into handcuffs that does not want to go back to jail,” O’Hara said. “That is just the reality of law enforcement today in a society that has so many illegal guns on the streets.”