Authorities have released the results of their investigation into the shooting death of a 38-year-old Chaska man by Burnsville police on March 17.
Body camera video released by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension initially shows Kong frantically bouncing around in the driver's seat of his car, shouting and waving what appears to be a dagger. Police repeatedly ordered him to drop the knife and get out of the car, to no effect. They eventually broke out the passenger windows of his car and used a Taser device twice, yet Kong got out of the car and ran across the parking lot. Police then opened fire repeatedly, according to the audio recorded with the body cameras.
A Dakota County grand jury on Tuesday found that the three officers who fired shots during the incident, John Mott, Maksim Yakovlev and Taylor Jacobs, were legally justified when they shot and killed Kong. Minneapolis Attorney Steve Meshbesher said he's been retained by the Kong family to look into the matter. He said he's still reviewing evidence and has not taken any action in court.
Burnsville police chief Eric Gieseke released a statement on the matter in connection with the announcement of the grand jury findings.
"I hope - through the release of our officers' body camera videos and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation report - that you will be able to place yourselves in the position of these officers," Gieseke wrote. "I also hope that you will be left with the same conclusion as the Grand Jury -- that our officers acted out of necessity." He also offered his sympathies to Kong's family.
The incident started when callers told Burnsville police that a man had been sitting in his car in the restaurant parking lot along Highway 13, just west of Interstate 35W. Callers reported the driver in the car was behaving erratically, possibly armed with a knife. The initial call came in at 6:16 a.m. and witnesses said Kong may have been at the McDonalds since as early as 2:30 a.m.
At least three officers approached Kong's vehicle in the video, discussing how to approach him as he bounced and rocked in the front seat of the car, shouting frantically and waving a dagger. The car's windows were closed and were fogged with what appeared to be condensation.
The video shows Kong ignoring the officers' commands, and one officer eventually smashed the passenger side windows on Kong's car with a baton. One of the officers then fired a taser at Kong through one of the broken windows. The video shows Kong turning, opening the driver's side door and running away from the car as police looked on.
Officers opened fire as he cleared the car and Kong pitched forward onto the ground in the parking lot.
A toxicology report found the presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine in Kong's blood when he died, according to a release from the Dakota County attorney's office.