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Jury To Consider Charges Against Officers In Columbia Heights Shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The fatal shooting of a man by Columbia Heights and Fridley police will be submitted to an Anoka County Grand Jury for consideration of criminal charges against the officer involved, the Anoka County Attorney's Office announced Monday.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 24, 2015, police were dispatched to a business located on 700 block of 40th Avenue Northeast in Columbia Heights on the report of a man holding a gun on his sister.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the officers fired their guns after a man with a weapon refused to cooperate. He was later identified as 45-year-old Michael Kirvelay.

The suspect's family says he was carrying a BB gun.

Jamie Castilla says she is the sister of the man police shot and killed inside the cleaning service business that she owns. She says he showed up at the door of her business as she and her two sisters and a friend were packing up, preparing to move.

Castilla says Kirvelay appeared emotionally distressed, so she ran to the nearby police station for help. When officers arrived they confronted Kirvelay, who she says was holding a BB gun.

"My sister said she was telling them, 'Please, we're not hurt, everything's OK, it's not a real gun.' He was saying, 'It's not a real gun, don't shoot me,' and they shot him in his face," Castilla said.

The Columbia Heights officer was wearing a body camera.

"Good, that's a good thing then. They know they're wrong, and it should show everything," Castilla said.

After the shooting, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted an investigation into the incident and submitted their report to the Anoka County Attorney's office for review of charges.

The Grand Jury is expected to convene and hear evidence about the shooting by May.

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