Man charged with assault in gunfire exchange with Minneapolis police

According to Minnesota court records, Cooper has a lengthy criminal history with nearly 40 prior convictions.

Zedrick Cooper, 2017 Minnesota Department of Corrections photo

A Minneapolis man has been charged with three counts of first-degree assault involving use of deadly force against a peace officer after authorities say he initiated an exchange of gunfire with Minneapolis police last Thursday.

The charges filed in Hennepin County against Zedrick Andrew Cooper, 36, say that Cooper fired multiple gunshots at officers after a short flee from an attempted traffic stop in north Minneapolis.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said in a press release that the incident began following at least two reports to police on Thursday morning of a man pointing a gun at several people at a gas station located at Lowry Avenue North and Logan Avenue North. When police arrived in the area, Cooper fled in his vehicle.

Cooper traveled north on Vincent Avenue North and slid through an intersection, crashing at Dowling Avenue North where he struck a stop sign and became stuck. Six officers approached Cooper’s vehicle and gave him verbal commands to put his hands up.

Cooper tried to flee, but was unsuccessful, the complaint said. After several attempts to get in the vehicle, an officer broke Cooper’s window with his flashlight and saw that Cooper had a gun. Cooper fired several shots as the officers ran back to their squads for cover.

A prior report by Alpha News included recorded police dispatch audio from the initial incident as well as video captured by a bystander as the shots rang out.

In addition to the three assault charges, Cooper has been charged with one count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

According to Minnesota court records, Cooper has a lengthy criminal history with nearly 40 prior convictions.

Most recently, Cooper was convicted in Hennepin County in October of last year on a felony charge of threats of violence. Under the terms of a plea agreement, three other counts on the same charge were dismissed and Cooper was granted a stay on the 21-month felony sentence by Judge Jay Quam. Cooper was instead sentenced to 240 days in a workhouse but was given credit for 160 days already served.

Under Minnesota’s two-thirds rule, which states that offenders are only required to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated, Cooper was not required to serve any further time incarcerated and was placed on probation for a term of three years.

Cooper’s other convictions include felony theft in 2019, for which he received a stay-of-imposition and was placed on probation by Judge Margaret A. Daly after being credited with 11 days spent in jail. Cooper also has a 2017 felony conviction for narcotics, numerous convictions for driving after revocation, three for DWI, one for trespassing and a handful of other driving-related offenses.

Cooper was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries following last week’s shootout with police and no officers were injured, according to information released by the Minneapolis Police Department.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), the agency charged with investigating the officer-involved shooting, released a brief statement on Wednesday listing the names of the officers involved and the use-of-force actions taken by each during the incident:

  • Officer Felix Alvarado has been with the Minneapolis Police Department for four years. He discharged his firearm.
  • Officer Cory Krautkramer has been with the department for seven years. He discharged his firearm.
  • Officer Aaron Pearson has been with the department for seven years. He fired less lethal impact rounds.
  • Officer Kyle Pond has been with the department for seven years. He discharged his firearm.
  • Officer Nathan Sundberg has been with the department for seven years. He fired less lethal impact rounds.

The BCA also said that the officers involved are on administrative leave and all have declined in-person interviews with agents at this time. However, three of the officers, Alvarado, Krautkramer and Pond, provided written statements through their attorney.

BCA crime scene personnel recovered a handgun and ammunition from inside Cooper’s vehicle, and the incident was captured on police body cameras, the statement said. BCA agents will also review dash camera footage to determine whether they captured the incident.

The release said that once the BCA’s investigation is complete, the agency will provide its findings without recommendation to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for review.

The BCA said that Cooper has been released from the hospital and is in custody at Hennepin County Jail. He is being held on $300,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.