Jared Goyette, WCCO Radio

Bob Kroll says investigation will show Thurman Blevins raised his gun at officers

Kroll said he had spoken to the officers’ attorney.

July 06, 2018 - 3:01 pm

(WCCO Radio) The head of the Minneapolis police union says he's been told that Thurman Blevins Jr. raised his gun at officers before they shot him.

Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told WCCO Radio that officers gave Blevins verbal commands, which he ignored and then fled on foot before he eventually raised a gun at officers.

“Officers doing their job quickly responded to the scene, identified the person described in the call, and attempted, with verbal commands, numerous times, to gain compliance. Blevins did not do that. Instead, he chose to run, flee and raise a firearm toward our officers,” Kroll told host Roshini Rajkumar. “I don't know what more we can expect our officers to do.”

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Blevins, 31, was fatally shot Saturday by Officer Ryan Kelly and Officer Justin Schmidt after a foot chase through a north Minneapolis alley on Saturday,  June 23. Investigators later recovered a silver 9mm handgun from the scene, though some witnesses said they never saw Blevins with the gun.

Asked off-air how he could confirm that Blevins had raised the gun, Kroll said he had spoken to the officers’ attorney.

“I have not seen the video, I haven’t looked at all the compiled statements, I didn’t sit in with the officers, but what I’ve gathered, from talking with their attorney, is that it’s going to be a justifiable officer-involved shooting and the individual posed a threat to the officers,” he said.

The BCA investigation is on-going. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has said the city will release the officer's body cam footage once the BCA has finished interviewing witnesses. 

WCCORadio.com will have more excerpts from our interview with Bob Kroll later today.