BCA investigates Oakdale incident where Minneapolis man died in confrontation with police

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigates an Oakdale incident where a Woodbury officer fired non-lethal rounds of pepper balls at a man’s car without realizing that the man had already died.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the deceased as Keith Lavance Lewis of Minneapolis. Lewis died from a gunshot to the head. The BCA did not specify whether or not the gunshot was self-inflicted. Oakdale Police had previously stated that he shot himself.

According to an initial investigation, the incident occurred at 4:30 am on Wednesday morning in Oakdale. Officers approached a car parked near 1200 Glenbrook Avenue. Lewis was found asleep in the car by the officers. According to the BCA, when they woke Lewis, he had a gun in his hand. They began to retreat behind their squad car, but then heard a shot. Unaware that Lewis was already dead, the officers called for backup and brought in squads from other departments including Woodbury Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the BCA, Woodbury officer Alec Gulbranson fired pepper-ball rounds at the vehicle to try to convince Lewis that he had died. After confirming that he was dead, the officers cleared the area for crime scene investigators, who found a.40 caliber pistol.

BCA officials confirmed that all officers were wearing body cameras at the time of the incident. They are also reviewing all video footage as part of the investigation. This is done on the request of Oakdale Police Department.

The BCA will submit its findings to the Washington County Attorney’s Office without making a recommendation for charges.


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