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Jamal Mitchell, Minneapolis officer killed in line of duty, earlier saved elderly couple from burning home

Officer Jamal Mitchell killed in Minneapolis mass shooting
Officer Jamal Mitchell killed in Minneapolis mass shooting 03:48

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesotans are mourning the loss of a Minneapolis police officer who was gunned down in the line of duty Thursday, and more details about his prior heroic acts are coming to light.

Officer Jamal Mitchell, 36, was killed in a shooting in the city's Whittier neighborhood. A civilian was also killed, as well as the suspect. Two other civilians were also wounded, one gravely and one critically. Another officer was also injured, as well as a Minneapolis firefighter. Both are expected to survive.

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara said Mitchell was "a father, son, (fiancé), friend, and a member of MPD since 2022."

Minneapolis Police Department

"I had the distinct honor of swearing in Jamal as a Minneapolis police officer," O'Hara said.

Mitchell received recognition for his work in February 2023 after rescuing an elderly couple from a burning home. Bodycam video shows him helping the couple out their front door.

O'Hara said Mitchell was just three days on the job when he made that rescue. At the time, O'Hara called Mitchell and his partner Officer Zachary Randall "truly heroic," saying the officers put their lives on the line despite the danger.

The story gained nationwide attention and was included in CNN's "Beyond the Call of Duty" series.

"That's the part of the job. We're here to protect the community, do what we can to serve the community," Mitchell told CNN. "We are trained to pit others' lives in front of ours."

O'Hara honored Mitchell during a press conference hours after his murder.

"He died a hero, and like the police officers standing here with me, and like cops everywhere, he was one of the few who had the courage to stand up and answer the call every day. He died doing what we asked him to do, on behalf of others," O'Hara said.

Officers Zachery Randall and Jamal Mitchell in February 2023 MPD

Katie Blackwell, assistant chief of operations for the Minneapolis Police Department, said Mitchell "was exceptional in every way."

"He was courageous in every action that he did," Blackwell said. "He was a wonderful human being."

Shortly after his death was announced, law enforcement from across Minnesota honored Mitchell with a procession that began at Hennepin Healthcare in downtown Minneapolis.

Dozens of cars lined up for hours to escort the fallen officer to the medical examiner's office. Others gathered along the route to show their support. People across the Twin Cities are also showing their support by putting up blue lights to signify that they stand with law enforcement.

Mitchell is the third Minnesota police officer killed this year. Burnsville officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, and city firefighter Adam Finseth, were fatally shot during a standoff in February.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 60 police officers have been killed across the country this year.

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