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Minneapolis police release body camera footage of shooting that killed officer Jamal Mitchell

Thousands honor fallen officer Jamal Mitchell in Twin Cities
Thousands honor fallen officer Jamal Mitchell in Twin Cities 06:01

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police released body camera footage on Friday from two recent fatal shootings, including one that resulted in the death of officer Jamal Mitchell.

Chief Brian O'Hara and other department members were on hand at a press conference to show video of the deadly encounters from May 30 and June 12.

NOTE: The footage and descriptions contain images and details some may find disturbing.

May 30 shooting

Mitchell, 36, was fatally shot on May 30 in the city's Whittier neighborhood while providing medical aid to his killer, 35-year-old Mustafa Mohamed, who had been shot by someone earlier. Mohamed was then killed by another officer. 

Police say two civilians were also fatally shot and another officer and a firefighter were hurt.

The first edited video shown during Friday's press conference was from Mitchell's body camera. He is seen speeding to the scene, exiting his squad and approaching Mohamad.

"Hey, who shot you? Are there victims inside?" Mitchell said.

The footage stops a second before Mitchell is shot, and police make a point to zoom into Mohamed's handgun.

The second video is from officer Luke Kittock, who is speeding to the scene with a machine gun already in hand.

He exits his squad and yells, "Where? Where's the guy shooting at?" Kittock then fires eight rounds before running into a parking lot, taking cover, then firing several more rounds in Mohamed's direction.

Another officer, holding a shield in one hand and a pistol in the other, is seen next to Kittock. The pair run to Mohamed. Kittock yells at other officers to handcuff him, and the video ends with a close-up of blood trickling down his trigger finger.

Officers gather around Mustafa Mohamed MPD

The third video is from officer Nick Kapinos, who arrives at the scene and asks someone off-camera where the gunshots are coming from.

"Multiple shots fired! Officer down! Man on the street!" Kapinos said.

Mitchell's body, which is blurred, is seen in the middle of the street about a half block away.

Kapinos and other officers then rush behind a nearby fire truck and take cover along with several firefighters.

Kapinos fires several rounds towards Mohamed before he runs over to him. As he moves down the street, another officer hands him a machine gun.

Concerned that another shooter is at large, Kapinos tells his fellow officers to "get down" as Mohamed is being handcuffed.

Mohamed's legs are the only part of his body visible in the videos.

Text shown at the end of Kapinos' video states a Glock 26 was recovered from the scene, which had an extended magazine that had jammed. 

June 12 shooting

Three officers fatally shot 39-year-old Michael Warren Ristow on June 12 near Hiawatha Avenue and East 34th Street after 911 callers reported seeing an armed man walking around the neighborhood acting "irrationally."

O'Hara said after a brief foot chase, Ristow refused the officers' orders to drop his gun and was eventually shot dead.

The first video shown is from officer Chaz Wilson, which starts with him driving to the scene. Before he exits his squad he yells, "Stop! Stop! Stop!" before pulling out his handgun.

He then runs through a parking lot, trailing behind another officer. Multiple officers are heard yelling, "Drop the gun!" before shots ring out. Wilson then falls to the ground several feet away from where Ristow lies after being shot multiple times.

Wilson then slowly gets up and approaches the other officers as they surround Ristow.


The second video is from officer Enoch Langford, who is also seen rushing through a parking lot towards Ristow. Langford yells, "Police! Stop! Stop! You're under arrest! Drop your gun! Drop your f***** gun!"

Langford then fires several rounds at Ristow, who slumps over against a chain-link fence. While reloading, Langford commands Ristow to not reach for his gun. He then takes the weapon away and yells, "I got it!"

The third video is from officer Abdiurizaq Mumin, who arrived at the scene with Langford. His body camera footage is more pixelated than the others, and shows Langford's encounter with Ristow. Mumin is then shown cuffing Ristow.

Ristow's body is blurred in each video, and like the footage of the May 30 shooting, some of the videos are shown at slower speeds and zoom in on the suspect's weapon, which in Ristow's case is hard to see due to the glare from officers' flashlights.

Like Mohamed, Ristow's gun jammed during the deadly encounter, police say.

Chief O'Hara responds

O'Hara defended his officers after showing videos of both shootings, and made it explicit that he is limited to what he can discuss about both cases amid investigations by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

"I believe the actions by our officers were reasonable and necessary," O'Hara said. "The officers are doing their jobs, they're doing it incredibly well."

O'Hara told members of the media that his department wasn't required to show Mitchell's own body camera footage, but wanted to show an abridged version to highlight the fact Mitchell "never had a chance to draw his gun."

"I think (it's) perhaps unfair there is an expectation that body-worn cameras would be a panacea," O'Hara said. "I think as we see from looking at multiple views from different angles, there's reasons why we wanted to slow down videos so the public can actually see what may not be apparent."

Chief Brian O'Hara WCCO

He said his officers have to think and react fast in these situations, adding those that who don't are regarded as "cowards," while those who act too fast can make major mistakes.

"I know our officers continue to struggle as they go through it because we've all been in those situations. It could've been anyone of us," he said.

O'Hara became emotional while remembering Mitchell, and recounting the "overwhelming amount of support and love" that's come from the community following his death.

"Very, very moving and humbling, and I think frankly our officers needed to see the love and support that exists because they just don't see that enough," he said.

Mitchell was posthumously awarded the department's Medal of Honor and Purple Heart. He will be laid to rest on Monday in his home state of Connecticut. A memorial fund has been set up to help Mitchell's family.  

He is the third officer in Minnesota to die in the line of duty this year. In February, Burnsville officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, and city firefighter Adam Finseth, were killed in a standoff.

NOTE: The original airdate of the video attached to this article is June 11, 2024. 

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