MINNEAPOLIS — The man shot and killed by law enforcement in the Uptown area of Minneapolis was identified by friends and family Friday, June 4, as 32-year-old Winston Boogie Smith, while state investigators said Friday he fired at officers, although there is no footage of the incident.
The announcement came with news of a Friday rally with Communities United Against Police Brutality at an intersection West Lake Street and Girard Avenue South, near the shooting site.
The news release said the family will call for the immediate release of the footage from the body cameras of officers involved as well as their names and agencies.
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting, said in its own news release that on Thursday, members of U.S. Marshals Service task force approached the suspect, now known to be Smith, who was in a parked car atop a parking ramp at West Lake Street and South Fremont Avenue.
Authorities said task force members were tipped off to the location of a man wanted for weapons-related warrant and tried to arrest him. A preliminary investigation shows that at some point, a Hennepin County sheriff's deputy and a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy shot Smith, who they previously said brandished a gun, killing him. Authorities say they recovered a handgun and spent shell casings inside the car Smith was in, suggesting that he fired a weapon, although the precise sequence of events wasn't immediately known.
A 27-year-old woman that he was with was injured by shattered glass.
Authorities said there is no squad camera footage of the incident. The deputies involved also weren't wearing body cameras, because the BCA claims they were operating under the rules of federal law enforcement agencies, which don't allow the devices. However, the Department of Justice announced last October that it changed its policy to permit state, local, territorial and tribal task forces to use body-worn cameras "while serving arrest warrants, or during other planned arrest operations, and during the execution of search warrants."
The Marshals Service said many agencies were involved in the original operation, including officers from the Hennepin, Anoka and Ramsey County sheriff's offices and the federal Department of Homeland Security. Minneapolis police played no role.
U.S. Marshals Service spokesperson Nikki Credic-Barrett said Smith was wanted on a state arrest warrant out of Ramsey County for a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.
The personnel involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, Credic-Barrett said.
On Friday, a fuller picture of Smith was still coming into focus.
He had built something of an local following of late through his appearances in online comedy sketches. In a recent video, posted by notable local comedian Steff Weezy, Smith played the role of a Door Dash driver "in the Hood" who was eating the food he was supposed to deliver.
"Bro, I've been trying a lot of food, I've been trying pizza, like ice cream, everything; bro, I've been trying a lot of new spots, this is a good job," he quips on the video.
While little is yet known about the events that precipitated the shooting, Smith's social media accounts offered a glimpse of his final moments. The last video he posted on Snapchat showed him eating an appetizer of Cajun beef bites at Stella's Fish Café. A woman was sitting across the table from him, but her face wasn't shown. The time stamp shows the video was recorded about 2 p.m. Minutes later, he was dead.
Overnight, friends and relatives began posting tributes and photos of Smith on social media. In one undated picture, he is seen with civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
©2021 StarTribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.