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Pawn Shop Owner Fatally Shoots Alleged Looter During Riot

A 59-year-old pawn shop owner has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Minneapolis, MN – A pawn shop owner is facing a murder charge after he fatally shot a man who allegedly tried to burglarize his business on Wednesday night.

The shooting occurred outside the shop as violent rioters ransacked buildings, looted and burned stores and attacked responding firefighters following the in-custody death of 46-year-old George Floyd.

Minneapolis police were dispatched to Cadillac Pawn and Jewelry at the intersection of Bloomington and East Lake Street just before 9:30 p.m. for a report of a stabbing, according to Insider.

They arrived to find a man suffering from a gunshot wound.

He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) spokesperson John Elder said that the possibility that the man was shot while trying to loot the pawn shop “is one of the theories” investigators are considering, Insider reported.

The 59-year-old pawn shop owner has been booked into the Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of murder, according to the Star Tribune.

The fatal altercation occurred on the second night of mayhem that erupted following Floyd’s death.

On Tuesday night, protesters with a rock-filled shopping cart smashed out the windows of the Minneapolis Police Department and hurled objects through patrol car windows.

Many patrol vehicles appeared to have been heavily damaged by protesters during the mayhem, multiple videos showed.

The riot erupted just hours after four MPD officers were abruptly fired from the force in connection with the death of Floyd.

Hundreds of people flocked to the 3700-block of Chicago Avenue after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey encouraged them to attend the planned protest.

Officers in riot gear deployed tear gas and smoke bombs into the crowd, and flash grenades were also used in an effort to quell the mayhem, CBS News reported.

Some of the protesters tossed the gas canisters back at police.

According to MPD Spokesperson John Elder, officers fired “foam marking rounds” at the unruly crowd, but did not fire any rubber bullets, CNN reported.

The marking rounds are used to mark violent instigators in order to make them more identifiable for further investigation, Elder explained.

It is unclear whether or not any demonstrators were arrested during the chaos, CBS News reported.

On Wednesday, the police department identified the officers involved in the incident as former Minneapolis Police Officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, KMSP reported.

Chauvin was a 19-year veteran of the MPD, while Thao served for 12 years, according to the Star Tribune.

Kueng was hired by MPD in 2017, and Lane joined the force in 2019.

But news of the terminations and the confirmation of the officers’ identities did nothing to quell the anger of protesters who videos showed seemed determined to riot in the streets yet again.

Protesters have demanded the immediate arrests of all four officers involved.

They gathered outside the homes of Chauvin and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman on Wednesday, the Star Tribune reported.

The city erected barricades around the 3rd Precinct on Minnehaha Avenue earlier on Wednesday in anticipation of additional protests.

Rioters in Minneapolis set buildings ablaze and threw explosives at police Wednesday night.

Police officers without crowd control body armor or shields came under a barrage of thrown rocks and fireworks, videos showed.

Scanner traffic indicated Molotov cocktails were also thrown at officers.

Scanner traffic also indicated an officer was hurt during an attack. The extent of their injuries has not been reported.

The National Guard was ultimately ordered to the MPD 3rd Precinct to relieve the officers stationed there, the Star Tribune reported.

They were accompanied by Minnesota State Patrol and St. Paul Police Department officers.

Chanting protesters surrounded the precinct as they loudly demanded justice for Floyd, the Star Tribune reported.

With officers under-equipped for the rioting, the rioters started vandalizing buildings and set an Auto Zone building on fire.

At least five people were shot by other citizens during the chaos on Wednesday night, and dozens of businesses were either torched or looted, the Star Tribune reported.

The latest destruction comes after mass looting in the area of the 3rd police precinct.

Video from FOX9 Reporter Karen Scullin shows the looters fighting to get a pile of TVs out of a Target store.

Scullin reports that the looters were also stealing groceries and clothes.

WCCO reporter Jeff Wagner reported that the Target store was closed before the looting started, but looters smashed out the windows to get in.

Just before midnight, Frey begged citizens not to “let tragedy beget more tragedy,” the Star Tribune reported.

“Please, help us keep the peace,” he implored.

Frey made the desperate request hours after he publicly questioned why now-former Officer Chauvin hasn’t been arrested for Floyd’s death, the Star Tribune reported.

“Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” Frey asked at the time. “If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now. And I cannot come up with a good answer to that.”

Frey is aware, or should be aware, that the officers cannot be charged with a homicide unless the medical examiner rules that Floyd’s death was a homicide. The medical examiner’s report is not complete yet, pending further investigation.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) launch an investigation into Floyd’s death.

“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd,” President Trump tweeted.

“I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement,” he added in another tweet.

On Monday, Floyd was arrested outside a deli after allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill, the Star Tribune reported.

Floyd, who was reportedly under the influence, fought with police for approximately 10 minutes before officers took him to the ground in the roadway.

After wrestling the combative man to the ground, Officer Chauvin knelt on the suspect’s neck to keep him pinned down, cell phone footage showed.

According to the MPD, police noticed that the man “appeared to be suffering from medical distress” after they placed him in handcuffs, so they summoned an ambulance to the scene.

Even after Floyd appeared to lose consciousness, Officer Chauvin continued kneeling on Floyd’s neck until medical personnel arrived, cell phone footage showed.

Floyd was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he later died, the MPD said.

His exact cause of death has not been released, and it is unclear whether any medical issues or substance use may have been contributing factors.

Bystanders at the scene of Floyd’s arrest accused police of “killing” Floyd right in front of them.

“He’s black – they don’t care!” another bystander yelled. “You just killed that n—-r, bro!”

During a press conference on Tuesday, Frey said that Floyd’s death was “simply awful” and “wrong at every level.”

“For the better part of the night I’ve been trying to find the words to describe what happened and all I keep coming back to is that he should not have died,” the mayor declared. “What we saw was horrible, completely and utterly messed up…This man’s life matters, he matters. He was someone’s son, someone’s family member, someone’s friend. He was a human being and his life mattered.”

The mayor noted that “being black in America should not be a death sentence,” WCCO reported.

“This officer failed in the most basic, human sense,” Frey continued, before issuing a public apology to the suspect’s family. “It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.”

Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis Lieutenant Bob Kroll said that the union will continue to support the involved officers as the investigation continues.

“Now is not the time rush to judgement and immediately condemn our officers,” Lt. Kroll told WCCO. “An in-depth investigation is underway. Our officers are fully cooperating. We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report.”

Holly Matkin - May Thu, 2020


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