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BCA: 2 deputies shot at Winston Smith, no bodycam footage available

Investigators revealed preliminary details about Thursday's shooting in Uptown.
The scene outside the parking garage where the shooting occurred Thursday afternoon.

The scene outside the parking garage where the shooting occurred Thursday afternoon.

Two sheriff's deputies fired their weapons in the shooting that killed Winston Smith at a Minneapolis parking garage Thursday afternoon.

That's according to an update from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Friday afternoon, which outlined early findings from its preliminary investigation.

What the BCA says happened

The BCA said law enforcement members serving on the U.S. Marshals' joint North Star Fugitive Task Force were alerted to the location of a man who had a warrant out for a felony firearms violation.

The task force "made contact with him" on the top level of the parking ramp at 1405 W. Lake Street, "in an attempt to take him into custody."

The BCA alleged that "at one point a Hennepin County sheriff’s deputy and a Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy serving on the task force discharged their weapons, striking the man." 

He died at the scene.

The BCA said "evidence at the scene indicates that the man fired his weapon from inside the vehicle." BCA personnel found a handgun and spent cartridge casings from inside the driver's compartment.

Authorities have yet to identify the man shot and killed as Smith, but family members have done so. On Friday morning, reports say they called for body cam footage of the incident to be released.

The BCA, however, noted the U.S. Marshal Service "currently does not allow the use of body cameras for officers serving on its North Star Fugitive Task Force." Squad camera footage also does not exist, the BCA added. 

The North Star  Fugitive Task Force is described on the BCA's website as "a multi-agency task force led by the U.S. Marshals Service Minneapolis office," that was "established to seek out fugitives and enforce federal predatory offender laws." While BCA special agents do serve on the task force, none were there during Thursday's shooting, a spokesperson for the BCA said.

A 27-year-old passenger who suffered glass injuries during the shooting was treated at Hennepin County Medical Center and released, according to the BCA. 

The agency noted it is "in the very early stages of its investigation" into the shooting. Bring Me The News has reached out to the BCA and U.S. Marshals for more information.

Smith was a musician who also went by the name Wince Me Boi. A post on Facebook by a woman who identifies herself as Smith's cousin says he was a father, while Smith's Facebook page says he previously attended Roosevelt Senior High School in south Minneapolis.

According to a warrant complaint filed Sept. 1, 2020, Smith in June that year fled Bloomington police officers who tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. Smith had "active warrants in both Hennepin and Ramsey County at the time for Aggravated Robbery and Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm," the complaint alleged. Officers stopped their pursuit when he began driving the wrong way on Highway 494, according to the charges.

The group Communities United Against Police Brutality planned a 12:30 p.m. event Friday to "demand justice," located at the site of the shooting. A press conference and rally is slated for 5 p.m.

Smith's death sparked civil unrest in Uptown on Thursday evening, with property damage and looting reported. Minneapolis police plan to release arrest figures Friday afternoon.

Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

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