MINNEAPOLIS– Several dozen people gathered for a vigil outside a Minneapolis apartment building where police fatally shot a man during an hour-long standoff that began with gunfire before the arrival of the police.
Family and friends mourned Thursday night the death of Andrew Tekle Sundberg, a 20-year-old who police say fired shots from his apartment in a standoff that began Wednesday night and s is extended until early Thursday.
Two Minneapolis officers fired their rifles, ending the standoff and fatally wounding Sundberg, according to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is leading the investigation. A firearm was recovered from the scene, according to the BCA.
Authorities did not say what prompted officers to shoot Sundberg after hours of negotiations in an attempt to persuade him to surrender.
Some brought flowers to the vigil outside the building, where Sundberg’s name was written on the pavement with candles placed around it, the Star Tribune reported. His sister spoke briefly at the vigil and thanked those present, but did not give her full name.
The city identified the officers who fired their weapons as Aaron Pearson and Zachary Seraphine.
A spokesperson for their union, the Minneapolis Federation of Police Officers, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Sandberg’s death was the second fatal encounter involving Minneapolis police this year following the shooting of Amir Locke in a downtown apartment on Feb. 2 while executing an early morning search warrant, and the two officers were at the scene when Locke was shot.
SWAT team member Pearson used a key to get into the apartment where 22-year-old Locke fidgeted under a blanket on the couch and grabbed a handgun. Officer Mark Hanneman shot Locke within 10 seconds – an encounter captured by Pearson’s body camera. Seraphine, a SWAT team medic, provided medical attention to Locke at the scene, according to the BCA.
No officers have been charged in Locke’s death. Minnesota prosecutors said Hanneman’s use of deadly force was justified.
The Minneapolis Police Department has long been under scrutiny for allegations of brutality and racial injustice. The May 2020 police killing of George Floyd led to a state investigation into police practices, and the city and department are working to address issues that were uncovered.
Officers responded Wednesday evening after a third-floor tenant called 911 to report that someone had fired shots through the wall of her apartment, police said.
Officers took the woman and her two young children, along with others, to safety. Police said attention then turned to a man who had self-isolated in a nearby apartment, a man later identified as Sundberg.
Attempts were made to negotiate with him by phone and speakerphone, Minneapolis police spokesman Garrett Parten said. Sundberg was shot around 4:30 a.m. Thursday and taken to a hospital, where he died, officials said.
“It’s not the result we hoped for or wanted,” Parten said.