Minneapolis police officers “acted appropriately and courageously” when one of them shot and wounded a 23-year-old man earlier this week who was suspected of shooting someone else, Chief Tim Dolan said Friday.
With Dolan’s assessment comes the return to duty of the five officers — some on-duty and others working an off-duty assignment — involved in the wounding and apprehension of Leroy Martinez of Minneapolis.
Martinez was charged Tuesday with second-degree assault in connection with a shooting Monday night near the playground of the Little Earth of United Tribes public housing complex. Like Martinez, the victim in that shooting is expected to live.
At around 11:15 p.m. Monday, two off-duty officers working for the housing complex and three on-duty officers heard gunshots near 25th Street and Cedar Avenue S. As they responded to the gunfire, officers saw a man running and pursued him, according to police.
The accounts of police and a witness interviewed by the Star Tribune differ on what happened next.
Police say Martinez drew his gun, refused orders to drop it and was shot by officer Terry Nutter. Yet Delora Iceman, who lives at the complex, said the man had thrown down his gun and held his hands in the air when Nutter shot him, after the officer warned that he would do so.
A police spokesman countered that Iceman’s account was contradicted by those of other eyewitnesses.
Officers Steven Herron, Derek Chauvin and Brandon Brugger and Lt. Gwen Gunter were also at the scene, according to the department.
After reviewing the preliminary investigation into the incident Friday morning, Dolan said he authorized the officers’ resumption of duties because “our investigative findings show that the officers acted appropriately and courageously.”
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482