Community seeks bodycam video in St. Paul police shooting

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Community members are calling for the quick release of body camera video after a Minnesota officer shot and killed a man, who police say had a gun.

Family members have identified the man as 24-year-old Howard Johnson. He was shot by a St. Paul police officer on Monday, police said.

“He loved everybody and everybody loved him,” his mother, Monique Johnson, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I don’t understand why this had to happen to my child.”

The St. Paul Police Department says officers were responding to a domestic assault Monday evening and were told by the caller that the man had a gun, before the call ended abruptly. The man ran away before officers arrived.

According to a statement from police, officers saw the man running with a gun in his hand. When they saw him appear to attempt a carjacking, officers drove up to the man and police believe they struck him with a squad car.

“As the officers got out of their car, the man was standing with the gun in his hand and an officer fired multiple rounds, striking the man in the torso and leg,” the statement said. “Officers immediately rendered aid to the man and called for St. Paul Fire medics.”

Johnson was taken to a hospital where he later died.

A vigil was held Tuesday night at the scene of the shooting.

Trahern Crews, co-founder and lead organizer of Black Lives Matter Minnesota, said they want to see body camera footage “to clear all doubts.”

“We should know exactly what happened so this family can be comforted, and if something went wrong then people need to be held accountable swiftly and immediately,” Crews said.

Johnson had been convicted in recent years of felony domestic abuse and fleeing from police. Family members say he was the father of 4-year-old twins.

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