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Teenager shot by police at disc golf course was holding an airsoft gun

Four officers opened fire on the 18-year-old, who is in a critical condition.
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The teenager in critical condition at a hospital after being shot at more than a dozen times by police in Crystal on Wednesday was in possession of an airsoft gun.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension released more details about the standoff at the disc golf course in Bassett Creek Park on Wednesday morning. The agency said four Crystal police officers fired shots at 18-year-old Khaleel Thompson during the incident.

One of them, Txheng Vang, has only been an officer for three months. The others were Mason Barland, a nine year veteran, Brian Elfstrom (four years) and Kathleen Gomez (20 years). They have been placed on standard administrative leave while the case is investigated.

The BCA said the officers arrived at the course just before 9 a.m., where they confronted Thompson. He was brandishing a handgun-style airsoft gun with a "black-tipped barrel," the bureau said.

Officers demanded he drop the weapon, but instead Thompson pointed it at them. Barland fired the first shots, using non-lethal rounds. But when Thompson continued to point the weapon at them, the officers continued to fire.

The Star Tribune reports Thompson is in a critical condition at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, with his mother Naomi Thompson saying he has undergone surgery several times, including one to remove a bullet from his skull.

She told the newspaper that her son has paranoid schizophrenia, recently attempted to take his own life, and that police were familiar with his history. She said the airsoft gun was more like a toy gun and that he didn't comply because he was afraid.

The BCA said video of the incident was captured on a squad dash camera, but officers were not wearing body cameras.

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