The sister of a man shot to death by police in Robbinsdale last week said Monday that she believes her brother "kind of snapped" and wanted officers to end his life because of serious charges filed against him in South Dakota.
Authorities on Monday identified the man who was fatally shot by police late Friday morning as Brian E. Andren, 47, of Ramsey. Andren was shot several times after a brief vehicle chase into a residential area near N. 38th and Noble avenues, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.
Police have said that Andren was charging at officers with a knife when he was shot. Officers were attempting to stop him in his pickup truck on a felony warrant for his arrest out of South Dakota, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension disclosed Monday.
South Dakota court records show that Andren was charged in September 2018 with child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, providing alcohol to a minor, two child pornography counts and a drug-related count. He also was wanted for violating a no-contact order, a court official said.
The warrant for his arrest was issued on Dec. 11 after he failed to appear for a court hearing, according to the case file.
Shelley Nelson, Andren's sister, told the Star Tribune that he was living in South Dakota until about 2½ years ago to be closer to his four children, who were living with his ex-wife.
But with the charges hanging over his head in eastern South Dakota, Nelson continued, he came back to his native Minnesota rather than face what she said could be 20 or more years in prison.
"He took that opportunity on Friday to put himself at peace," Nelson said, reflecting on her brother's actions when pursued by police. "What happened was not my brother. He would not have hurt anybody. He just kind of snapped and felt it was his only way out."
Robbinsdale Police Chief Patrick Foley said officers used their squad vehicles to box in Andren's pickup. He then exited the vehicle brandishing a knife and ignored commands to drop the weapon, Foley said.
One officer fired his Taser, followed by another who fired his service weapon three times. Police gave emergency aid before Andren was pronounced dead at the scene. A knife was later recovered nearby, police said. A female passenger in the truck was not injured, according to the BCA, the state agency tapped with investigating police shootings.
Nelson said she and her brother grew up on the East Side of St. Paul and had "a really good childhood."
She said that while he was using her address for official purposes, he was living in Elk River in the time leading up to his death and running his own web development company.
"He's not a monster," she said. "I don't want it to sound like he is."
Also identified Monday by the BCA were the officers who shot at Andren. Sgt. Brian Sloat, a 17-year veteran of the department, shot Andren with his firearm. Officer John Tomczik, with the force for about 18 months, discharged his Taser.
Andren's death was the second fatal police shooting in as many weeks in the Twin Cities. In Minneapolis, 23-year-old Dolal Idd was shot and killed by Minneapolis police after firing at officers from the driver's side of his vehicle.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482