Travis Jordan, 36, was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer who was called to perform a wellness check on him during a mental health episode. Police said Jordan was holding a knife when the officer opened fire, KTSP reports.
According to a 911 transcript, police were called because Jordan was having suicidal thoughts. When officers arrived, police said, they found Jordan holding a knife even though the 911 caller said that Jordan did not have any weapons.
Police opened fire, killing Jordan. A medical examiner determined that Jordan died from multiple gunshot wounds. The Minneapolis Police Department said both officers’ body cameras were on and recorded the shooting.
“It was a wellness check and now our friend is dead instead of alive and getting the help that he needed,” his roommate Allison Reinke told KTSP.
Her husband later identified Jordan’s girlfriend as the 911 caller in an interview with KMSP.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Travis Jordan Was Reported to Be Suffering From Depression, Suicidal Thoughts
Jordan lived with his friend Paul Johnson and Johnson’s wife, Allison Reinke, KTSP reports. Johnson and Jordan worked together in the restaurant industry.
According to a 911 transcript, Jordan’s girlfriend called the police to ask them to perform a welfare check. She said Jordan had been “having a lot of suicidal thoughts because, um, depression, anxiety, but he’s not taking any pills for that. Um, he’s just taking alcohol for it.”
“He doesn’t want to live, he doesn’t even think about his future anymore,” she said. “I told him I was gonna call the cops, ‘cause I was really worried about him, and he threatened me and said go ahead and call the cops, I’ll talk to them when they get here.”
She added that Jordan wanted to commit suicide at his mother’s house in Minnesota, according to the transcript. “He sent me a text message saying he wanted to plan to go his mom and do this,” she said, “and he put LOL at the end.”
2. 911 Caller Said Travis Jordan Did Not Have Any Weapons
When asked if Jordan had any weapons, the caller said no.
Later in the conversation, she said, “I’ve looked through his text messages before and he’s asked for like to find him a gun for him from someone. And then I confronted him about that a long time ago and he said he wasn’t gonna do it.”
Asked if Jordan was “violent” or if “anyone else is in danger,” she said, “No… just him.”
Johnson said Jordan’s girlfriend later called back to tell police that Jordan said he would get a knife when she told him she called the police.
Police said Jordan was holding a knife when they arrived. He was shot in the front yard of the home.
Police initially said the injuries were not life-threatening but Jordan later died at North Memorial Medical Center, KARE reports.
3. Minneapolis Police Undergo Required Training for Dealing With Emotionally Disturbed People
Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said in a statement that both officers properly had their body cameras on to record video and audio of the shooting.
Elder added that all Minneapolis police officers have gone through mandatory training to how to handle individuals in crisis. He said that the city gets 3,200 reports of emotionally disturbed persons every year.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting.
4. Travis Jordan’s Friends Question Why He Was Killed
“It was a wellness check and now our friend is dead instead of alive and getting the help that he needed,” Reinke told KTSP.
Roommate Paul Johnson questioned why the officers pulled out their guns instead of their Tasers.
“Why are Tasers not pulled out, why is that not what’s in their hand?” he asked. “Why is the lethal form of de-escalating the situation and ending it in their hands and not all the other ways that could’ve been done?”
“A life didn’t need to be lost that day,” he later told KMSP. “He said that he was going to get a knife so she called the police back and warned them that he may have a knife. At that point I believe she called me to see if I could get home quickly. I was just a few minutes away when I hung up. I saw a message from my neighbor to get home quickly and I called him and he said the police had shot my roommate in the front yard.”
5. Mental Health Calls in Travis Jordan’s Neighborhood Treated Differently
Minneapolis City Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham called to expand the city’s mental health program, which currently treats calls on the city’s north side differently than its south side, KTSP reports. The shooting happened in the Fourth Precinct, which is not part of the Minneapolis Police Department’s co-responder program. The program dispatches mental health professionals to respond to mental health calls alongside police officers. Only the Third and Fifth Precincts, in south Minneapolis, are part of the program.
According to the Minneapolis Police Department, mental health specialists went with officers on 985 calls and officers only had to use force in two of them. Mayor Jacob Frey said the program had already helped 149 people remain at home instead of being taken to jail.
Frey has proposed expanding the program to the First Precinct, but not the Fourth.
“On the north side, folks of color don’t feel comfortable calling the police when there is a mental health crisis,” Cunningham said. “I think this latest incident actually is an example of why folks don’t feel safe calling.”
The Minneapolis Police Department say they support an expansion of the program to the other precincts.
“MPD will continue to train and educate our officers on public safety tools such as de-escalation and crisis intervention training and to be the best stewards of the public trust,” the department said in a statement. “However, we must do more as a city to invest in mental health services and clinics whose resources and services are available day and night to those who need them. Increasing public safety and reducing community harm goes beyond just policing rather it requires true and authentic collaboration between police and community.”