Memorial service set for a Minneapolis police officer killed responding to a shooting call

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis police officer who was killed by a man he was trying to help at the site of a shooting will be memorialized at a public ceremony Tuesday.

Investigators are calling the May 30 shooting of Officer Jamal Mitchell an ambush. They said he was responding to a call about a double shooting when he tried to help a man he believed was injured. That man then shot Mitchell multiple times. Three other people, including the gunman, were killed.

Mitchell had been with the Minneapolis Police Department for about 18 months. Tori Myslajek, Mitchell’s long-term partner, said Mitchell’s greatest joys were his four children.

“Our family is completely devastated by our recent loss. Jamal was our whole world,” Myslajek said in a statement. “Jamal and I created a beautiful life in Minnesota, and he was deeply passionate about helping and serving the community of Minneapolis. On behalf of our family and from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our friends, neighbors, loved ones and the entire community for the continued support.”

The memorial service was scheduled for Tuesday morning at a high school in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Thousands of police officers from across the state, region and nation are expected to attend the service, a spokesperson for the police department said.

Mitchell’s killing stunned a department that has struggled to fill its ranks since the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing turmoil. It also added to the state’s trauma of seeing public safety officers die when rushing to help people in need, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said. Mitchell was killed three months after two officers and a firefighter-paramedic in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville were fatally shot while responding to a domestic violence call.

In the May attack, officers responded to a call of a double shooting at an apartment complex in the south Minneapolis neighborhood of Whittier. Mitchell was the first to respond and approached 35-year-old Mustafa Mohamed outside. When the officer asked if Mohamed was injured, Mohamed pulled a gun and shot Mitchell several times.

Another officer arrived and exchanged gunfire with Mohamed, who died of his injuries, Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Katie Blackwell said. The second officer sustained non-life-threatening wounds. Another person, believed to be a bystander, was shot and taken to a hospital in critical condition. A responding firefighter also received minor injuries.

Authorities said two people were shot inside the apartment: Osman Said Jimale, 32, and Mohamed Aden, 36. Jimale died in the apartment. Aden died Friday from complications related to multiple gunshot wounds, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Sunday.

Few details about the initial shooting have been released, and investigators have not speculated on Mohamed’s motives. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he had been convicted of federal gun charges and was released from prison in 2020. He was rearrested with a handgun about two years later. Warrants were issued after he failed to appear at a hearing.

Mitchell was previously lauded by the Minneapolis Police Department for rescuing an elderly couple from a house fire on his third day on the job. In a statement following the shooting, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called Mitchell a hero.

“This officer gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect and save the lives of others,” Frey said. “His life, his service and his name will forever be remembered in the city of Minneapolis.”

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