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No Charges For Mpls. Woman, Son In Fatal Shooting Of Suspected Home Invader

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Charges will not be filed against a south Minneapolis woman and her son who were both involved in the fatal shooting of a suspected home intruder last month.

Minneapolis police say on the night of Feb. 22, 30-year-old Martin Lee Johnson, from Minneapolis, was shot in the chest in the backyard of a residence on the 3300 block of 25th Avenue South.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says it's "declining to issue charges" after reviewing MPD's investigation, saying that claims of self defense by the homeowner, who is a 53-year-old woman, and her 26-year-old son were valid.

Police say Ring camera footage showed Johnson hopping a six-foot-tall backyard property fence before trying to enter the home through a rear patio door. He is then seen entering the detached garage through a backyard service door.

The mother and son told investigators they initially thought the man had left their property after seeing him on camera. She said she grabbed her handgun, which she has a permit to use, and then asked her son to grab her rifle in their basement in case the intruder entered through an egress window.

Minneapolis Homicide - 9th homicide of 2022, 3200 25th Ave S
(credit: CBS)

The mother and son said they opened their patio door and noticed the garage service door was open. The homeowner then fired several "warning shots" in the air as she and her son called out for the intruder to leave. The homeowner and her son said Johnson then walked into the backyard and wouldn't leave, and he soon began walking towards them "with his hands near his waist area," despite more warning shots and demands for him to leave.

Johnson was then shot in the chest, but police and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office say "it cannot be said with absolute certainty" whether it was the mother or son who fired the fatal shot. Police say the family members "remained at the threshold of their patio door" during the deadly encounter.

Police say the son called 911 and officers soon responded. Johnson, who was unarmed, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the homeowner willingly gave investigators access to her Ring camera footage.

The county attorney's office says it was unable to "disprove valid self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt," adding that the family members gave Johnson ample warning as he was approaching them, and they didn't have "a duty to retreat" since they were technically inside their home when the fatal shot was fired.

About two weeks after the deadly shooting, Johnson's family held a press conference to demand more information about the case from police. At the time, the family disputed the claim that the homeowner promptly called 911 after the shooting.

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