MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota prosecutors filed multiple charges Wednesday against a man accused of opening fire on National Guard soldiers stationed in Minneapolis as part of efforts to maintain the peace following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.
Andrew Thomas, 28, was arrested Sunday and handed over to federal authorities the next day. He is charged in Hennepin County District Court with three counts of first-degree assault against a peace officer, two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and an illegal weapons possession, the Star-Tribune reported. Moreover, the gunman also faces a federal weapons possession charge.
According to Hennepin County Jail records, he he is a Chicago resident.
Minnesota National Guard members were standing at the corner of Penn Avenue North and West Broadway early Sunday morning when multiple gunshots were fired from an SUV, according to a federal criminal complaint.
The soldiers were part of Operation Safety Net, a joint partnership between the National Guard and local authorities in response to protests and possible unrest, Fox reported.
One bullet went through the windshield of a military vehicle with four soldiers inside. One was taken to a hospital for injuries from the shattered glass and another was treated at the scene for “superficial wounds.”
Video surveillance cameras captured the SUV — a 2002 Ford Explorer — along with several identifying features, including a bicycle rack on top, heavily tinted windows and the rear license plate, which was partially illuminated.
Just after 9:50 p.m., Thomas was in the vehicle with a juvenile when he was stopped by authorities who recognized the SUV from its description.
The juvenile told authorities that Thomas had a weapon in the vehicle and that they had met him at a St. Paul hotel the week before.
A search of the SUV yielded a Springfield Armory XD-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a .22 caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number, ammunition, and two discharged cartridge casings, authorities said.
As a result of the investigation, Thomas was arrested.
His attorney in the federal case, Manny Atwal, said, “I just got the case [and] will be looking into the allegations soon,” the Star-Tribune reported. Thomas has yet to secure counsel for the state case, Atwal said.