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Non-violent activists assist police in capturing suspect in fatal Minneapolis shooting

Members of the nonprofit We Push For Peace tackled the suspected shooter after police say he shot and killed a bystander by Cub Foods in north Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS — Non-violence organizers stepped in to assist police in apprehending a suspect after a fatal shooting on the north side of Minneapolis Friday.

Police spokesman officer Garrett Parten says squads were dispatched to the intersection of Lyndale and Broadway Avenues North just after 9:45 a.m. on reports of a crash followed by at least one gunshot. 

When police arrived, members of the nonprofit We Push For Peace had the suspected shooter pinned to the ground. Police confirmed the organization apprehended the suspected shooter, after they say the shooter ran away from the scene of a crash, shot a man who tried to stop him, and then attempted to carjack another woman's vehicle to get away.

Members of We Push for Peace had just wrapped up a 9 a.m. meeting at the Cub Foods on West Broadway. Members Jerrod Jackson and Damon Davenport said at first they didn't know the suspect had a gun on him; they just heard voices shouting to not let him get away.

"The way my mind was thinking was don’t let his hands move towards anything," Jackson said. "I'm just like, I don’t want him to stab me; I wasn’t thinking about guns. So now when I heard that — I was like, 'Hold his hands, hold his hands!'"

The two men say they didn't have time to think. It was all instinct, "because we got him so fast," said Davenport.

Hours after the incident happened, the men remained at Cub Foods, assisting the community with their work through We Push For Peace. They say it will take awhile to be able to process everything that took place.

"This is what we signed up for," said Jackson. "Let the community relax. Let them know they’re not alone — they got somebody in here. They got somebody that’s gonna stand up for them."

We Push for Peace founder Tray Pollard also assisted at the scene and expressed gratitude for their partnership with the city.

"I’m extremely thankful that we do have a partnership with the city of Minneapolis where we can be out there, and we can be out there making a difference and we can be out there trying to curb some of this violence," said Pollard.

Parten says preliminary information indicates that a driver headed west on Lyndale collided with another vehicle headed north on Broadway. Witnesses say the driver in the first vehicle jumped from his car and ran, and a bystander gave chase. At some point the fleeing motorist pulled a weapon and shot the man who was trying to apprehend him. 

The man who was shot was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Police say the fleeing driver then reportedly ran into the parking lot of the nearby Cub Foods and attempted to carjack a woman. As she fought him off, Parten says bystanders, including members of the activists, tackled the gunman and held him until officers arrived.

Parten says the suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment of previous or existing medical conditions, and will soon be booked into jail on probable cause murder. He confirmed that the man was wearing a bullet-proof vest or some kind of body armor when he was apprehended. 

"This is a tragic circumstance," Parten said about the bystander. "There are a lot of emotions going around as they try to live and work in this city. There's worry, there's fear, there's anger about the amount of crime going on. I don't know the feelings of this individual, but here's an individual who saw something wrong, and thought they would interject to make it right ... obviously someone who tried to do the right thing and paid a tremendous consequence."

According to a press release from MPD, the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash were a 21-year-old woman and a 4-year-old child. Both were transported to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Officer Parten sent what he called a "clear message" to residents who are fed up with the impact of crime on their lives: Do not attempt to chase, subdue, or control a suspect, but inform police and let them go about making things right. 

"Use discretion," Parten urged. "Stop, yell, make noise, get your camera out and video whatever you can because these videos become extremely important tying to solve crimes like this." 

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