Two Minneapolis Snipers Shoot Down 20-Year-Old Black Man

·3 min read
Screenshot:  Sunberg Family via CBS News (Fair Use)
Screenshot: Sunberg Family via CBS News (Fair Use)

Two Minneapolis police snipers fatally shot 20-year-old Andrew “Tekle” Sundberg after an hours-long standoff, according to CBS News. What prompted the officers to shoot remains unclear but the officers involved were part of the SWAT raid that led to Amir Locke’s killing in February.

According to CBS’ report, Tekle fired multiple shots inside a Seward neighborhood apartment building. Arabella Yarbrough, a neighbor, called the police saying a bullet went through her wall. She and her two young boys hid in the bedroom. Once police arrived, Yarbrough and her sons left the building and Tekle isolated himself inside his unit. The standoff with the police began at 9:30 p.m.

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Officers say they spent hours trying to negotiate with him but according to a live taping of the incident, they didn’t successfully make contact with him, per Fox 9.

More on the video footage from Fox 9 News:

This video, filmed by a user of the Citizen App, starts at about midnight on Friday and runs to 2:30 am. It captured two moments when Tekle Sundberg’s father, Mark Sundberg, picked up a bullhorn to address his son.

[Tekle] had stepped out onto the ledge of the third-floor apartment window on two occasions. First, at around midnight, he gestured at officers and spoke quickly and mostly unintelligibly, at one point repeating the word “no” in a rapid sequence before going back into the apartment. Then, about 20 minutes later, he stepped out again to take several selfies before returning to the apartment.

An MPD officer alternated between broadcasting one of two messages over a loudspeaker every few minutes. One message said they had a search warrant and that Tekle should come out with his hands in the air. The other message asked him to answer the phone when negotiators called or to call or text the negotiators back.

At no point do the messages give any indication that negotiators had successfully made contact with Tekle Sundberg.

Even after Tekle’s father addressed him over the loudspeaker there was no certainty he heard the message.

“Tekle, this is your dad again. I love you. I know you love me. Please talk to the negotiator. They really got to talk to you. Please do it, for me. Thanks,” he begged, per the video.

The video ends at 2:30 a.m. Reports say two snipers shot at Tekle around 4:30 a.m. He died at Hennepin Healthcare.

Per the search warrants, investigators recovered a pistol with an extended magazine, a bullet fragment from the neighboring apartment, sniper’s rifles, two bullet casings and “less than lethal” rounds. It’s unclear when those rifle rounds were fired. The official body camera footage is yet to be released.

It’s also unclear whether officers Aaron Pearson and Zachary Seraphine have been disciplined for the incident. They managed to escape charges from the Amir Locke SWAT raid they were a part of. However, Tekle’s family and supporters protested Saturday demanding justice. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has joined their legal team.

“We are all imperfect humans,” she said. “He did not deserve to be picked off like an animal from a rooftop,” said Tekle’s mother Cindy via ABC 5.