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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The head of the Minneapolis police union said Tuesday that officers were "heroic" in shooting a man to try to stop him from cutting his own throat with a knife at City Hall.
The incident happened Monday in an interview room at the Minneapolis Police Department, which is inside City Hall. Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Monday the man was alone in the interview room when he pulled out the weapon and began harming himself. Officers shot him after attempting to subdue him, and the wounded man was taken to a hospital.
Union president Bob Kroll said Tuesday that video of the incident will show the officers tried to de-escalate the situation before shooting.
"The officers, not only did they not take a life, they saved a life," he said. "It's nothing short of heroic."
The shooting is being investigated by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which investigates most police shootings in the state. In a news release Tuesday night, the BCA identified the man who was shot as 18-year-old Marcus Fischer of Minneapolis and said he is at a hospital being treated for his injuries. It did not provide details about his condition.
It wasn't immediately clear how the man got a weapon into the interview room.
The BCA said it would provide additional information, including the names of the officers who fired their weapons, after initial interviews are completed. Several officers have been placed on leave.
While Kroll declined to talk about details of the shooting itself because of that investigation, he said the man had just confessed to a shooting and an investigator left the interview room to go get him water. The investigator returned to find the man harming himself with a knife. Kroll said the man was cutting his own throat.
"This was a very gruesome scene," Kroll said. "Veteran officers, very experienced officers, were very shaken after all of this."
Kroll said he hopes the video is released as soon as possible so the public will understand what happened. He estimated officers tried to de-escalate the situation for about 10 minutes before they had to make a decision.
"They were going to lose him if they didn't intervene," he said. "This guy was set on taking his own life, no mistake about it."