Authorities say Marcus Fischer was getting "extremely close" to two Minneapolis police officers with a knife raised over his head when they shot him in a police interview room last winter, according to charges filed Friday.
The new counts against Fischer stem from the Dec. 18 episode at police headquarters in which Fischer stabbed himself multiple times, then was shot when he refused to drop the knife.
The additional four felony charges — two counts each of first-degree assault against a peace officer and second-degree assault — were filed against Fischer, 19, by Washington County prosecutors.
The incident unfolded when Fischer was arrested at his job at the Mall of America last December on suspicion of a shooting and taken to police headquarters for questioning. He was searched twice before being brought into an interview room, but officers didn't find the 4-inch folding knife that was tucked into his waistband, according to authorities.
After answering some questions from Sgts. Kelly O'Rourke and Gene Suker, Fischer reportedly asked the detectives for some water. Left unattended, authorities say Fischer pulled the knife out and started cutting and stabbing himself, first in the neck and then the chest, with "blood strewn throughout the room," BCA special agent Chris Olson wrote in a court filing.
Officers tried to negotiate with Fischer before unsuccessfully using a Taser to subdue him when he ignored their commands to put the weapon down. After several minutes, Suker and Jerome Carey, a downtown patrolman, fired their sidearms at Fischer, who by then was" extremely close to them" and holding the knife over his head, prosecutors said.
He was struck twice, according to authorities. He was later hospitalized with gunshot wounds as well as the self-inflicted injuries, including a "gaping" neck wound from where he tried "sawing" at his throat, authorities said.
None of the officers involved were injured.
During a bedside interview at the hospital, Fischer reportedly told investigators that he'd ignored their commands to drop the knife because he didn't want to go to jail, while admitting that he "could've taken a better path," court records show.
The gory encounter was caught on video, which police union officials said will show the officers acted justifiably when they opened fire.
But the case has also raised questions in the minds of some over how police deal with people who are harming themselves.
It wasn't immediately clear when Fischer would be arraigned on the new charges. For now, he remains held at the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $200,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 9. The counts come in addition to separate criminal charges against Fischer of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and possession of a handgun by a prohibited person after prosecutors say he shot a man during a gun deal-gone-awry in northeast Minneapolis on Dec. 13.
Deputy Police Chief Erick Fors said that after the incident, the department reviewed its procedures for taking in suspects for questioning. In addition to being frisked, suspects will now be "wanded" before being brought into an interrogation room, which will soon be outfitted with screens allowing officers in the hallway outside to see what's happening inside the room.
"These are just steps to make it safer for everyone," Fors said through a spokesman. The BCA's investigation of the shooting continues.
The case was turned over to Washington County Attorney Pete Orput for prosecution because of a conflict of interest with the Hennepin County attorney's office, which already charged Fischer in the robbery case and also employs the father of officer David Martinson, who deployed the Taser.