Last Thursday afternoon, federal agents shot and killed a suspect in North Minneapolis while they were helping local officials serve a warrant. The shooting occurred around noon at Dowling and Dupont Avenue in North Minneapolis. The victim, 33-year-old Chue Feng Yang, was taken to North Memorial Hospital where he later died.
The FBI has not released any details about the incident and has not revealed why the warrant was being served. Local police, who were accompanying the FBI agents, were not involved in the shooting.
The incident has sparked outrage among community members. Activists have organized protests and vigils to demand answers and justice. They are calling for an independent investigation into the incident and for the officers involved to be held accountable. The FBI and local police are investigating the shooting.
Although MPD officers were on the scene, Minneapolis police chief Brian O’Hara said none of his officers opened fire. Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt said that although her deputies used force, they did not kill Yang.
Witnesses, who live on the block where the shooting occurred, say that the standoff started at 6 a.m. “I saw police and sheriffs make a U-turn and thought they were pulling someone over. A couple of minutes later, I looked outside and saw they were still there. I thought, ‘this is a long ticket!’” said a neighbor who declined to be identified. “Then I heard someone say through a loudspeaker, ‘Stay in your home, this is a dangerous situation.’”
The children of a neighbor who lived near where Yang was killed, said they saw two high-school-age children run from the home towards a police car, before Yang was later shot. Although the neighbor’s children go to school with one of those who fled the house, they did not know the high-school teens that well and hardly saw them around the neighborhood.
A federal warrant for Yang’s arrest showed he was wanted for assaulting a federal officer and potentially possessing firearms, which is prohibited for someone convicted of a felony. Yang was also wanted on unrelated warrants in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, one of which was related to a probation violation for a conviction involving a 2021 carjacking. In addition, Yang, who previously lived in Altoona, Wisconsin, was charged along with Raylean Gurneau, with animal cruelty related to shooting a dog with BB gun pellets and subsequently running it over. He also had convictions for stolen vehicles ranging from motorcycles to SUVs.
The federal warrant affidavit said Yang carjacked someone at gunpoint as he fled from a truck he was riding in that was stolen and being pursued by Ramsey County deputies. Someone in that truck threw a puppy out to hinder law enforcement from pursuing them. The affidavit also noted he was armed at all times.
The FBI Minneapolis office says its agents saw that Yang was armed as he emerged from the home last Thursday. A Facebook live-streamed video of the suspect posted under the name “NotKevin Yang” corroborates that fact. It showed him holding what appeared to be a sawed-off shotgun as he walked out of the front door, tied to a woman. On the live-streamed video, the woman, along with viewer commenters, pleaded with Yang to surrender.
Witnesses reported two women emerged from the home along with Yang, one who was not wearing a top accompanied another woman who was screaming Yang’s American name, Kevin. The woman screaming the name appeared to be the same woman seen in the Facebook Live video tied to Yang. The woman, identified as Gurneau, was taken, apparently unharmed, to the back of a squad car, according to recorded footage. Shortly after being shot by the FBI, Yang ended up in an ambulance. Gurneau was also reportedly transported to the hospital for an apparent fentanyl overdose.
A small crowd of community members gathered at Dowling and Dupont once news spread about the officer-involved shooting, believing that Minneapolis police officers were involved—after decades of incidents of police brutality—even though FBI agents were responsible. A couple who said they knew the woman who was tied up to Yang in the standoff, anxiously waited for news. So was someone who knew him to be a troublemaker.
All the while, a woman who owns a home at the corner where the shooting occurred told gawkers to get off her lawn and to watch the news for updates.