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A Minnesota felon whose Thursday death in a police-involved shooting sparked protests had a criminal history that included beating and robbing his ex-girlfriend – and may have opened fire before deputies shot and killed him in Minneapolis.
Investigators have not officially identified the man, but the Star Tribune revealed him to be Winston Boogie Smith, 32, citing friends and family.
Smith’s criminal record includes 20 convictions, mostly for minor traffic and parking violations, plus three marijuana charges – and the aggravated robbery conviction in which his ex-girlfriend was beaten until her face was swollen and bloody, court documents show.
Police investigate a shooting as protesters gather on Thursday, June 3, 2021 in Minneapolis. Crowds vandalized buildings and stole from businesses in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood after officials said a man wanted for illegally possessing a gun was fatally shot by authorities.
(Richard.Tsong-Taatari/Star Tribune via AP)
A judge issued a warrant for his arrest in December 2019 for violating the terms of his probation, stating that the court had probable cause to believe Smith had both failed to “remain law abiding” and was avoiding his probation officer. About a month earlier, an Instagram account with the same name as Smith’s Twitter, @WinceMeBoi, shared a photo that appeared to show a handgun and a box of ammunition in someone’s lap.
UNREST IN MINNEAPOLIS AFTER SHOOTING DEATH OF SUSPECT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said the slain suspect had been wanted on a felony firearms violation.
A U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force that included local deputies encountered the suspect Thursday at a parking ramp on Lake Street in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood.
Law enforcement officers, who were not wearing bodycams, attempted to arrest him, according to the BCA.
Protesters set a dumpster on fire after a shooting on Thursday, June 3, 2021 in Minneapolis. (Richard.Tsong-Taatari/Star Tribune via AP)
What happened next, according to authorities, is not entirely clear. Two deputies, one from Hennepin County and one from Ramsey County, opened fire.
But the BCA said it found evidence that the suspect had opened fire from within the vehicle, where investigators said they recovered both a handgun and spent casings.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 27-year-old woman in the vehicle was injured by broken glass, treated at a hospital and released.
The investigation is ongoing, and the police-involved shooting Thursday led to nighttime rioting in Minneapolis.
A probable cause document in the robbery case states that police responded to Smith’s ex-girlfriend’s home on Nob. 30, 2017, after she reported being beaten up and robbed by him and said his then-new-girlfriend, Latisha Maria Abrams-Carter, stole her purse.
Police said they found the victim with “swelling and marks on her face,” a bloody nose and mouth, which was also swollen and cut on the inside. And they said they found blood on both the ground and her van.
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Investigators at the time said they believed she may have lost consciousness in the attack.
Smith, who had been staying with the victim until a short time before the attack, had allegedly claimed she owed him money.
A witness, who is not identified in the court document, said she received a call from Smith the day before the robbery warning her to, “[Get the victim] out of there before something bad happens.”
Smith was also a father of two and an aspiring recording artist, according to his social media posts.
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