Police officers acted properly when they shot a motorist in the head and seriously wounded him after he struck them with a car in an airport parking ramp late last month, according to official investigations into the incident.
"Based on the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office investigation and our own internal review, it was concluded the officers' actions were appropriate under the circumstances," airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said Monday. "[Sheriff's Office investigators] believe the use of force was fully justified. We have viewed the [airport's] videotape and agree."
The officers who shot Mohamud M. Maye, 36, of Maple Plain, were Sgt. Roby Desubijana, 10 years of service; officer Robert Buth, 16 years of service, and officer Dylan Thomas, one year of service.
No other details about the investigations were immediately available. The Sheriff's Office has yet to comment about its findings.
Police were called to the rental car area of Terminal 1 after numerous reports of stolen vehicles. Maye was shot in the head while trying to evade police. He was driving his girlfriend's car, a friend of Maye's said.
Maye was treated for his wounds and remains in custody at Hennepin County Medical Center, said his attorney, Nicholas Gegen Monday afternoon.
Gegen also said was unaware of the findings in support of the officers' actions and was not ready to comment.
As for why Maye was trying to flee the area of the ramp that night, Gegen said, "We have been in contact with some independent witnesses who stated that there was clearly some confusion between the police and Mr. Maye about the directives that police made to him with regard to him needing to stop or go around."
Maye remains in the Hennepin County Medical Center with a "very serious head injury he suffered due to a shot in the head," Gegen said.
Gegen said his client has had a bone removed from the front of his skull, "so his head is very vulnerable."
Maye has had his first court appearance postponed several times because he cannot yet leave the hospital, Gegen said. Another try for a first appearance, scheduled for Tuesday, will also likely be postponed, the attorney said.
"He's not totally lucid," Gegen said. "I would certainly want that to be the case [before appearing in court]."
Maye, who also uses the alias Abdul Kadir Sheikh Mahmoud, was charged with three counts of first-degree assault against a police officer. Bail has been set at $450,000.
The only officer with injuries requiring medical attention was one who did not fire his weapon, according to airport police. He has yet to be medically cleared to return to work. The other three are now off standard paid administrative leave, which began when the shooting occurred.
The officers were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle when another vehicle drove at and struck them, the charges say. The vehicle Maye was driving first accelerated toward an officer on bike patrol who had to leap from the bike to avoid being struck. The car hit the bike and sent it flying, the charges say.
The car then drove directly at an unoccupied squad car and rammed it. Officers standing outside the car repeatedly ordered the driver to stop, but he backed up his vehicle and struck them, the charges allege. Officers fired at the vehicle, causing it to crash.
Officers' personnel files
Late last week, the airport released entries in the personnel files of Desubijana and Buth, revealing a mix of appreciation, commendation and department violations for both. There was no similar information to release about Thomas, MSP spokesman Hogan said, because that officer "is still relatively new to the force."
Buth has received three letters of appreciation, one letter of commendation and three reprimands.
In September, Buth's actions were deemed "not reasonable" when he sprayed a Mace-like substance into the face of a man who was handcuffed and "relatively still," a department memo read. It also noted that the suspect was suicidal and under the influence of alcohol.
In January 2014, Buth screamed profanities within earshot of officers and a citizen when he saw that the refrigerator in the department lunchroom had been cleared out.
In 2006, he was reprimanded for accessing state driver's license data for personal reasons and not in his role as a law enforcement officer.
Desubijana was punished twice in the summer of 2013 for taking or showing improper cellphone photos or videos of employees. In the first instance, the images were posted on YouTube. He was suspended without pay for five days, with three of those days stayed.
However, a few weeks later, Desubijana "played an inappropriate video in a roll call and made a disparaging comment about an officer to a member of the public," according to a department memo.
The second incident not only meant a two-day suspension without pay but restored the three days from the initial offense that had been stayed. The memos did not disclose the precise nature of the images.
Desubijana's personnel file also includes six letters of commendation and two letters of appreciation.