Names of Officers Involved in Fatal Police Shooting Released
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — Authorities have identified the two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black Minnesota man during a traffic stop.
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension names them as Officer Jeronimo Yanez and Officer Joseph Kauser. It says both have been with the St. Anthony Police Department for four years.
The BCA statement says Yanez approached Philando Castile's car from the driver's side during the stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights on Wednesday night, and Kauser from the passenger side. It says Yanez opened fire, striking Castile multiple times.
No one else was injured.
Thomas Kelly, an attorney representing Yanez, did not immediately return a call seeking comment after the officers were identified. Kelly declined to comment on the case earlier Thursday.
The BCA says its investigation is ongoing, including interviews with witnesses. Several videos, including squad car video of the incident, have been collected. St. Anthony officers don't wear body cameras.
The statement does not give the officers' races. Castile was black.
Colleagues of Castile describe him as a friendly, easy going man who not have posed a threat to an officer. Katherine Holmquist-Burks, principal of J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul, said Philando Castile was known as Mr. Phil to students at the school. She said he created a warm, friendly environment in the cafeteria, which he supervised.
A cousin, Dewanda Harris, said Castile got a licensed firearm but only for protection. The shooting occurred after Castile's car was pulled over for a broken taillight. The Justice Department announced that it will investigate the incident, which heightened racial tensions. The officer was white.