Mystery deepens over Eagan police shooting

Courtesy of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations An undated courtesy photo of Isak Abdirahman Aden, who was fatally shot by police July 2, 2019, in Eagan following a domestic assault call and a nearly four-hour standoff with officers.

Questions abound in the July 2 shooting death of Isak Abdirahman Aden, 23, of Columbia Heights. Missing details have only added to the confusion about just what happened out in those Eagan woods the night of Aden’s death.

Eagan police Chief Roger New, in a July 3 press conference, reported that his department received a 911 call from a woman who said she was being assaulted. New did not provide any other details, and his department has yet to release a copy of the 911 call or the exact contents of the call.

New said police did not know if the caller had been harmed.

The 911 call brought out police from several different suburban departments, including Eagan, Bloomington, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Edina, Lakeville, the Minnesota State Patrol, Dakota County Sheriff’s Office and South Metro SWAT Team.

In the press conference, New said police from these several departments pursued Aden to a wooded area near Highway 13 and Silver Bell Road. Aden later moved to an area on the 1900 block of Seneca Road in Eagan.

New said that Aden was armed, resulting in about a four-hour standoff that ended with police shooting and killing Aden. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner reported in a news release that Aden died of multiple gunshot wounds

The Eagan police chief did not make it clear what provoked police to shoot Aden. None of the departments involved have reported that Aden fired at them. New said in the press conference that it was “too soon” to determine if Aden fired his weapon.

According to his sister Samaya Aden, when the family was allowed to view his body they saw wounds from a non-lethal weapon, possibly a rubber bullet.

“He always put others first,” she said of her brother. “He loved to laugh. He was very goal-oriented and really cared about those around him. He loved his family and treated family like friends.

“Never in a million years would I have thought my brother would be in a situation like this. He had a lot to lose.” Aden was a University of Minnesota student who owned his own business and, according to a teacher, was very intelligent, scoring the highest of his fellow students on the ACT.

Aden’s family, friends and community members protested the killing on July 16 in Eagan, marching and chanting outside of the Eagan Police Department and City Hall. The protest was later taken inside to the city council meeting, where the mayor allowed those protesting Aden’s death to voice their concerns. The primary demand was that the police who killed Aden be prosecuted.

A Justice for Isak demonstration at Eagan City Hall.
Submitted photo

The Aden family has also demanded that all of the video surrounding the incident be released, including police body cams and squad cam.

Five police officers who reportedly fired at Aden have been placed on leave, including Anthony Kiehl, Daniel Nelson, Matt Ryan, and Adam Stier of the Bloomington Police Department and Jacob Peterson of the Eagan Police Department.

For some of the officers involved, this was not their first time executing extreme force. Kiehl was involved in the 2015 fatal shooting of Quincy Reindl, a 24-year-old White male. Peterson fatally shot Zachary Premo, a 26-year-old White male, on June 11, 2013, in Duluth. Stier has three lawsuits filed against him for his conduct while administering field sobriety tests.

About Mel Reeves

Mel Reeves is the community editor at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. He welcomes reader responses at mreeves@spokesman-recorder.com. Find his personal blog at fighthepowerjournal.com.

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7 Comments on “Mystery deepens over Eagan police shooting”

  1. I went to school with Isak,. He was a fun loving guy who was the light of the school and the Basketball team. He always cared about his friends and family. #Justice4Isak

  2. Maybe wait until info is released to assume cops acted unlawfully. Clearly something happened to justify swat teams and there were lots of witnesses that saw what happened from multiple police departments. Let’s see how it plays out before assuming these cops shot him unprovoked.

  3. Thanks Mel for this article and for your efforts during the evening of the Eagan City Council meeting.
    As to Ryan’s comment, the comment demonstrates the “positive bias” that exists regarding how police action is viewed. I would suggest to anyone with a similar view as in Ryan’s comment to educate themselves about how SWAT Teams are actually used in the United States by reading “Rise of the Warrior Cop” or viewing the documentary “Do Not Resist”. I would also suggest to Ryan and anyone with his “positive bias” to respect the community members who diligently review police reports and BCA documents. It is from many years of review of these documents and the stories of those persons who survived their questionable encounter with police that these questions and concerns arise. Finally, I am not only a person who makes online comments. Rather, I continually strive to learn and I act. I am in the picture featured in this article.

  4. Isak did an internship in an office where I worked several years back when he was just getting started on his post-secondary education. He was a great guy, eager to learn and pleasant to be with. That this happened to him is almost unbelievable. And the fact that there is virtually NO information forthcoming is unacceptable. Its been over 3 weeks since the shooting! Why was Isak shot? We want answers and we want the truth. Isak deserves justice. Black Lives Matter. Isak’s life matters.

  5. I feel that if he had a gun and would not put it down causing a 4 hour stand off the police would not shoot him unless he shot first which I’m sure he did see a witness heard two booms which obviously were gun shots. So sorry to say the police safety was in jeopardy so there was no other option but to shoot. I’m sure once all the evidence has been thoroughly investigated the truth will come out then released to the public. So please stop protesting and blocking roads just wait until then.

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