Richfield, MN – A mob of angry protesters shut down a Minnesota interstate on Sunday following the officer-involved shooting of an aspiring rapper who livestreamed the encounter.
The suspect, 30-year-old Brian Quinones, began recording a Facebook live video just minutes before he led officers on a pursuit from Edina to Richfield.
“So sorry,” he wrote in a post just prior to the recording.
The incident began at approximately 10:20 p.m. on Friday, after Quinones blew through a red light near York Avenue in Edina, the Star Tribune reported.
Quinones, who also went by the name of “Blessed the MC,” refused to pull over and led officers on a chase that proceeded into the Richfield area.
The suspect recorded himself casually singing and bobbing his head to music as he blew through multiple red lights, amassing a trail of police vehicles behind him, the Star Tribune reported.
Approximately six minutes into the chase, Quinones abruptly stopped his car, then jumped out of the vehicle with a knife gripped in his hand, KMSP reported.
His cell phone was still recording when he left it behind to go confront police.
Officers ordered Quinones to drop his weapon, but he refused, CBS News reported.
Edina police said that multiple officers opened fire after Quinones “confronted officers with a knife,” according to KMSP.
Quinones died of “multiple gunshot wounds,” according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.
None of the officers were injured during the altercation.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.
The aspiring rapper’s phone continued to broadcast the live footage for another 97 minutes after the confrontation, the Star Tribune reported.
Residents and onlookers began gathering at the scene, and some screamed at police for having used deadly force against the knife-wielding attacker.
Approximately 170 people attended a vigil for Quinones in Richmond on Sunday.
His friends and family criticized police for not attempting to use Tasers or other de-escalation techniques during the encounter, the Star Tribune reported.
Longtime friend Bryan Vinces said that Quinones was the married father of one son.
“Family was kind of the most important thing to him,” Vinces said. “He wanted to be the dad that his dad wasn’t to him.”
He released a new album the same day he died, the Star Tribune reported.
After the vigil, a group of protesters marched onto the interstate, where they spent an hour chanting and periodically blocking traffic, according to the Star Tribune.
“On behalf of the City Council and staff, our thoughts are with the family of the deceased, the officers involved and their families, and our community, the City of Richfield said in a statement to KMSP. “The loss of life in any shooting is a tragedy.”
The Richfield Police Department’s labor union, Law Enforcement Labor Services, also released a statement on Sunday.
“It's too early to know all of the facts in this case. We need to allow the investigators to do their jobs,” the union said, according to KMSP. “We do know this was a tragedy. We know family and friends of the deceased are grieving. We know lives are changed forever.”
“These are some of the most difficult scenarios officers will ever face in their careers,” the statement continued. “No officer ever reports for duty hoping to be involved in something like this. Our focus should be on all those who are hurting right now and need support.”
You can see the moments before the fatal encounter in the video below: