The protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd escalated Wednesday night into full-scale riots. There was widespread looting and numerous stores set on fire. The riots turned lethal when a suspected looter was reportedly shot dead outside of a Minneapolis pawn shop.
It was the second night of protests stemming from the death of George Floyd who died while in police custody, and video shows one Minneapolis police officer putting a knee to Floyd's neck for approximately eight minutes. The demonstrations began peacefully, but then grew violent.
Minneapolis police officers responded to an initial report of a stabbing at 9:05 p.m. in the area of the riots, according to Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder. At 9:25 p.m., cops found an adult male in grave condition lying on the sidewalk outside Cadillac Pawn and Jewelry on East Lake Street near Bloomington Avenue.
Officers immediately began to administer first aid, including CPR. The wounded man was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The wound was determined to be a gunshot wound.
"At this time, the scene is just finishing being processed by our crime lab and our homicide investigators," Elder told reporters at a midnight press conference. "The facts that led up to the shooting is still being sorted out."
When asked if the deceased man was a looter, Elder responded by saying, "That is one of the theories that we're working into." The spokesperson did not provide details of any other theories the police department has of the shooting death.
"As I said, the body was found outside. And we have a couple of different scenarios as to what may have happened," Elder said. "We want to make sure that we do in fact have all of the facts moving forward. We don't want to cast aspersions on somebody if in fact they weren't doing anything wrong."
Star-Tribune reporter Libor Jany wrote on Twitter that the deceased man was a suspected looter who was shot by the owner of a pawn shop:
Police are investigating a homicide. They say the owner of a nearby pawn shop shot and killed a person suspected of looting his building. It reportedly happened at Cadillac Pawn. Still awaiting details. This, from a source within the department.
One suspect was taken into police custody regarding the shooting death."I'm imploring our city, imploring our community, imploring every one of us to keep the peace. Let's honor George Floyd's memory," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said of the riots.