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During rally for Andrew 'Tekle' Sundberg, neighbor expresses frustration that he shot into her apartment

The neighbor said she felt threatened by Sundberg leading up to the standoff that ended when he was fatally shot by law enforcement.

MINNEAPOLIS — Dozens gathered Saturday afternoon to honor Andrew 'Tekle' Sundberg while demanding more answers after he was shot and killed by law enforcement on Thursday morning.

The demonstration was briefly interrupted by a woman who lived next door, who said Sundberg fired gunshots into her apartment that night.

More than 100 people, including Sundberg's parents, gathered outside the apartment complex where Tekle Sundberg was shot.

Two Minneapolis police snipers shot Sundberg early Thursday morning, ending a six-hour standoff that began when police were called to the apartment complex at around 9:30 p.m. on a report of shots being fired inside the building. A mother with two young children called 911 and told dispatchers someone was firing shots through their apartment.

Minneapolis police spokesman officer Garrett Parten said the fatal shots were fired around 4:30 a.m. following six hours of negotiating with the man, who had barricaded himself inside an apartment on the 900 block of 21st and East Franklin Avenues in the Seward neighborhood.

According to a search warrant, while officers were attempting to evacuate the building, "officers started taking fire," prompting them to leave the building and call the Minneapolis SWAT Team. When SWAT arrived, two people set up on a roof of a nearby apartment building. "At some point during the standoff, the two snipers shot the male subject," the search warrant reads. On Saturday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Sundberg died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) identified the two officers as Aaron Pearson and Zachary Seraphine. Pearson and Seraphine have been with the department for eight years and five years, respectively, according to BCA officials.

Credit: Attorney Jeff Storms
Andrew Tekle Sundberg

The family of Sundberg has retained prominent civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Jeff Storms.

Storms was joined by Sundberg's family for a scheduled press conference. Prior to speaking, 24-year-old Arabella Yarbrough, who claims to be the mother who called 911, interrupted the rally, saying she felt threatened by Sundberg. Yarbrough said a shot went through her door Wednesday and into her kitchen.

"I'm sorry, I'm upset and I'm sorry it had to come this way ... The fact that I'm even apologizing for this shows you that I'm hurt all-around, I shouldn't even be apologizing," Yarbrough said. "There's casings in the hallway. The shot went through my door to the pillar to the kitchen — I was cooking food for my kids."

Storms and Sundberg's parents both spoke following the interaction.

"My heart goes out for that woman. She went through a very traumatic event with those bullets coming through her house. That'll effect her for the rest of her life, that'll effect her children for the rest of their life, and I'm so sorry it happened," said Mark Sundberg, the father of Tekle Sundberg. "It is two different incidences. ... What we're here for is when Tekle was shot by the Minneapolis police and died. 

"I hope that we can support her. It's obvious she is in great pain. She had the courage to come down here and speak her mind, and she has every right to do that."

Sundberg's mother, Cindy, also offered her support for the neighbor, saying "I wish I could wrap my arms around her and tell her I am so sorry. ... Tekle was an imperfect human — we're all imperfect humans — and he did not deserve to be picked off like an animal from the rooftop."

According to the BCA, a firearm was recovered at the scene. They also said they're reviewing police body camera video, but the videos have not been released. Officials have not said what prompted officers to fire their weapons.

"We have made a request (for body camera footage), and my understanding is that we will see something by early next week, but I have no hard promises made," said Storms.

MPD posted a statement Saturday afternoon on Facebook saying the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office is working with Storms, Crump and the Sundberg family about viewing the footage.

The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office continues to work with the attorneys for Andrew Tekle Sundberg’s family to enable...

Posted by Minneapolis Police Department on Saturday, July 16, 2022

The statement reads:

The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office continues to work with the attorneys for Andrew Tekle Sundberg’s family to enable their viewing of video associated with the response to calls of shots fired, the active shooter situation, and the standoff that followed. This work began Friday, when the family’s attorneys first contacted City Attorney’s Office.

With more than 50 officers involved over the span of more than six hours, there are hundreds of hours of body camera video and audio to review. Consistent with legal requirements and protocol, Minneapolis Police Department personnel are working through the process to redact elements of video, such as identities, that will be viewed in the short term.

Following the offer made to have Sundberg’s family to view the video, plans are in process to allow for those videos to be publicly released. It is not expected that all hundreds of hours of video will be immediately released, as this will take much more time to examine.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension remains the lead investigating agency. MPD has provided all video to BCA investigators and all MPD body worn camera footage, along with any additional evidence gathered directly by the BCA, will be part of the investigative file subject to public release decisions by the BCA when that agency’s investigation is complete.

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