An apparent good Samaritan told police that he interrupted a violent armed robbery near a south Minneapolis grocery store, chased down the suspect and fatally shot him Thursday night.
Although an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting continues, the shooter, who police say has a legal permit to carry a firearm, was released Friday after being detained for questioning, Sgt. William Palmer said Friday.
On Friday night, authorities identified the dead man as Darren Evanovich, 23, of Minneapolis. The shooter's name has not yet been released.
Given that a death is involved, Palmer said he expects that a grand jury will review the circumstances and rule on whether a crime may have been committed.
The shooting occurred about 9:45 p.m. Thursday in the 2800 block of 26th Avenue S., police said
According to police, a caller to 911 said a woman had just been robbed at gunpoint of her purse and pistol-whipped in the parking lot of the Cub Foods. A second 911 call indicated that a man had been shot behind the nearby Super Grand Buffet.
Officers responded and found Evanovich mortally wounded. Then they were approached by another man outside the grocery store who said he witnessed the robbery, chased Evanovich behind the restaurant and shot him during a confrontation. The man then directed officers to the weapon.
Police found that weapon and another handgun believed to belong to Evanovich near where the shooting occurred.
The robbery victim, 53, suffered a cut to the head that police described as not serious.
In 2009, Evanovich was convicted in Hennepin County of attempted first-degree aggravated robbery and simple robbery. He was still on probation for both offenses at the time of his death.
When it comes to armed citizens intervening in unfolding crimes, Palmer said, "That's really a personal decision."
At the time citizens get their permit to carry a gun, "they are told what the limits are, what their liabilities are and what their authority is or is not," he said.
"They need to evaluate the situation like [police] would," he added. "The permit is designed for self-defense."
Andrew Rothman, a Twin Cities firearms trainer and vice president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, said Friday that if the events unfolded as the armed citizen described, "the permit holder acted appropriately. Chasing the mugger to recover the purse or to effect a citizen's arrest is permitted by law."
And, if Evanovich "then escalated by pointing and/or shooting at the good Samaritan, the good Samaritan would have been completely justified in shooting," Rothman said.
Police are asking that anyone with information to call investigators 612-692-TIPS (8477).
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482