Crowd gathers, looting breaks out in Minneapolis amid misinformation about man's suicide

A chaotic night in downtown Minneapolis.
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Police and civilians are clashing in downtown Minneapolis Wednesday evening after a man fatally shot himself near the Nicollet Mall. 

According to Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder, the man fatally shot himself on Nicollet Ave. between 8th and 9th streets around 6 p.m. as police were nearing. The man who killed himself was wanted in connection to a homicide that took place earlier Wednesday at a Minneapolis parking ramp, Elder said. 

After the man's death, posts were made on social media suggesting police were involved in the shooting. The gathering crowd and subsequent clashes downtown prompted police to release video of the suspect appearing to kill himself.

A large crowd gathered after the incident, with police deploying mace and the crowd growing unruly, with some people breaking windows at businesses at the Nicollet Mall. Several videos are circulating on social media, including one that shows people looting the Target located at 900 Nicollet Mall. 

The civil unrest also comes just days after Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was shot seven times in the back by a police officer. Wednesday night's unrest also comes less than 24 hours after a 17-year-old self-described militia member allegedly shot and killed two people in Kenosha.

Gov. Tim Walz issued a statement saying the State Patrol is being deployed to "help restore order."

"Minneapolis, it’s time to heal," he said. "We must rebuild and recover. Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The State Patrol is headed to Minneapolis to help restore order. I remain in close contact with the city and every state resource stands ready to help bring peace."

Note: Some of 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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