Minneapolis police officers shot and injured a man they were interviewing inside City Hall Monday evening.
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) identified the injured man as Marcus Fischer, age 18, a resident of Minneapolis. Investigators left Fischer alone in the interview room, according to police, and he began injuring himself with an edged weapon. After attempting to subdue him, officers discharged their weapons, police said.
The man was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center. He remains hospitalized and under police guard, according to a criminal complaint.
Chief Medaria Arradondo said the incident took place in room 108 of City Hall, which houses various investigative units.
According to a criminal complaint, investigators were interviewing Fischer about his role in a Dec. 13 shooting. The complaint said Fischer admitted to assisting in the robbery of a handgun, but denied shooting the victim.*
According to the complaint: Witnesses called 911 from a gas station Dec. 13 to seek help for a man with a gunshot wound to the chest. After initially saying the man was injured in a road rage incident, the witnesses said they arranged to sell a handgun to Fischer near the 1400 block of 5th Street Northeast. Fischer allegedly took the handgun, said something to the effect of: “It’s mine now,” and shot the victim in the chest with another gun. Officers obtained cell phone data that linked Fischer to the transaction, and found the stolen handgun in his Minneapolis bedroom, as well as ammunition similar to that which injured the victim. The victim survived but remains hospitalized; the projectile grazed his heart.
Fischer told investigators he helped facilitate the meeting and took part in the robbery, but said someone else shot the victim, according to the complaint.
Fischer is charged with assault in the first degree, aggravated robbery in the first degree, and unlawful possession of a firearm, due to a 2015 robbery offense as a juvenile that prohibits him from owning a gun or ammunition.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation, said the “gruesome” scene was clearly depicted in video and audio of the incident. The investigator left to get him water, he said, and returned to find the man harming himself with a knife.
Kroll said officers used deescalation tactics until the situation became life-threatening for the individual. The man cut his neck, he said.
“Instead of taking a life, they ended up saving his life,” said Kroll, who commended the officers. “He did not want to go to jail, and he wanted to die.”
Kroll declined to describe the officers’ deescalation tactics while the incident remains under investigation.
The interview room has a video recorder, and the video along with other evidence is turned over to the BCA for investigation. The BCA will provide more information following interviews with officers and witnesses. Officers involved in the incident are on standard administrative leave.
— Dylan Thomas contributed to this report.
*This story has been changed to reflect the Hennepin County Attorney’s description of Fischer’s interview, which differs from Lt. Kroll’s earlier account.