BCA: Man was hit by MPD gunfire before fatally shooting self

The man who shot and killed himself Tuesday night during an incident involving Minneapolis police was hit by an officer’s gunfire in the fray, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) revealed Friday.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says the man who allegedly shot at police, now identified as 53-year-old Brian Keith Bertram, died of a shotgun wound to the head.

Around 5:30 p.m., two Minneapolis police officers responded to a home near the intersection of Fifth Street Northeast and 35th Avenue Northeast for a 911 hang-up call, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.

The officers tried to communicate with the people inside the home and were directed to go around back. While entering through the back door, the officers heard “cries of distress,” police say.

According to the BCA, Bertram fired a shotgun at the officers entering the home, and pellets hit Officer Luke Rysavy in the scalp. He then returned fire with his pistol, hitting Bertram in the stomach.

At that point, officers “retreated from the home,” and Bertram subsequently shot himself while the officers were outside, investigators say. A shotgun was found next to Bertram’s body.

Rysavy, who has 19 months of law enforcement experience, suffered minor injuries and was released shortly after being taken to the hospital. He remains on standard administrative leave.

The BCA continues to investigate the police use-of-force incident.

Both Rysavy and the other officer who responded to the incident were wearing body cameras, and BCA agents are now reviewing that footage. People who were inside the home have spoken to investigators as well.

The findings of the BCA investigation will be turned over to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for review upon completion.

Here is a list of suicide prevention and mental health resources:

U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)Minnesota Department of Health’s Suicide Prevention ProgramMinnesota Department of Human Service’s adult mental health resourcesDHS map and list of statewide adult mental health crisis response phone numbersDHS map and list of statewide children’s mental health crisis response phone numbersThe National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – MinnesotaVeterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, Press 1Minnesota Farm and Rural Mental Health Helpline at 833-600-2670, ext. 1Crisis Phone Line – In the Twin Cities metro area, call **CRISIS (**274747) from a cellphone to talk to a team of professionals who can help.Crisis Text Line – Text MN to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

If you believe someone is at risk of suicide, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests you:

Ask questions about whether the individual is having suicidal thoughts.Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).Seek help from a medical or mental health professional. If it is an emergency situation, take the person to a hospital.Remove any objects from a person’s home that could be potentially used in a suicide.Do not leave the person alone, if possible, until help is available.

The U.S. National Suicide Prevention organization has also compiled a list of resources to help with coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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