Winston “Boogie” Smith was identified as the artist and comedian shot to death by sheriff’s deputies in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Police say he was armed with a gun and was wanted for a felony firearm accusation.
Looting, rioting, and protests broke out around the same time Smith was shot, sparked as well by authorities’ decision to remove some artwork and flowers from George Floyd square.
The fatal shooting of Smith occurred on June 3, 2021. Although authorities have not released Smith’s name, his identity was confirmed to Newsweek and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune by people who knew him. Numerous tribute posts on social media identify him as the man shot.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Say Smith Fired His Weapon From Inside a Car
A press release from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting, says the “officer involved shooting” occurred on Thursday, June 3, “on the top level of a parking ramp at 1405 W. Lake Street in the Uptown area of Minneapolis.”
“Law enforcement serving on the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force were alerted to the whereabouts of man who had a warrant for a felony firearms violation. They made contact with him in an attempt to take him into custody,” the release says.
“According to the preliminary investigation, at one point a Hennepin County sheriff’s deputy and a Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy serving on the task force discharged their weapons, striking the man. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
The release claims that Smith fired his gun.
“Evidence at the scene indicates that the man fired his weapon from inside the vehicle. BCA crime scene personnel recovered a handgun as well as spent cartridge cases from inside the driver’s compartment,” it says.
“A 27-year-old female passenger in the vehicle was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment of glass injuries sustained during the incident and released. The BCA is in the very early stages of its investigation. The BCA will provide additional information as the investigation progresses.”
There is no video in the case.
“The U.S Marshal Service currently does not allow the use of body cameras for officers serving on its North Star Fugitive Task Force. There is no squad camera footage of the incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will provide its findings without recommendation to the appropriate prosecutor for review,” the BCA release says.
The Duluth News-Tribune reported that, according to scanner traffic, Smith was a “murder suspect.” But the BCA press release makes no mention of that angle.
2. Smith Was a Musician Who Went by the Name Wince Me Boi & Also Appeared in Comedy Sketches
Smith rapped under the name Wince Me Boi. He posted some songs on YouTube. They didn’t have many views, though.
He also posted some of his tracks on Twitter. Smith also had an Instagram page.
He wrote on Instagram, “Thanks for following me My name is Wince Me Boi! I do music, acting, comedy, and camera work. My main goal is to inspire the youth and mislead.”
In addition, he appeared in comedy sketches, playing a Door Dash Driver in a video by comedian Steff Weezy. “Bro, I’ve been trying a lot of food, I’ve been trying pizza, like ice cream, everything; bro, I’ve been trying a lot of new spots, this is a good job,” he said in that video.
On Facebook, Smith wrote that he worked at Elite Global Management LLC, went to Roosevelt Senior High School, was from Minneapolis, and lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Had the opportunity to shoot with Winston Boogie Smith a few years back. Admittedly we didn’t know each other well, but it was always love and bro was always in good spirits. You hate to see someone go out like this no matter the circumstances,” a man wrote in a tribute on his page.
3. Smith Had a Serious Criminal History in Minnesota
Minnesota court records reveal that Smith had a criminal history in Minnesota.
In 2017, he was convicted of aggravated robbery in the first degree. The court records give his name as Winston Boogie Smith, Jr. That case made him a felon. In 2018, he was convicted of drug possession.
He has a lot of other cases in the system, but they are for petty offenses.
He was previously convicted of riding public transit without paying the fare; abandoning a vehicle; possessing marijuana in a vehicle (twice); and public nuisance.
4. Smith’s Last Post Showed Him at an Oyster Bar
Smith last posted on Instagram the day he died. The post showed that he was at an oyster bar and shows alcoholic beverages.
Two days before, he wrote, “Got money and didn’t know how to act! 😆 #FollowWinceMeBoi.” According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, his last video on Snapchat showed him eating Cajun beef bites at Stella’s Fish Café.
People are now filling his social media comment threads with condolences. “RIP KING,” wrote one person on Instagram. “I’m hurt bro,” wrote another.
“I’m so sorry that the system failed you,” claimed another. “Damn rip! This is wild! Rest easy🙏🏾,” another person wrote.
5. Smith Wrote Comments on the Derek Chauvin Case
On Instagram, Smith weighed in several times on the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer later convicted of murder in the Floyd death.
“It’s a conspiracy!!! WinceMeBoi has a CLOWN!!! #Viral #Share #ChauvinCase #GeorgeFloydTrial,” he wrote with one photo of Chauvin in court.
With another post, he wrote, “Me working the George Floyd trial.” The photo he posted appears to show him on a laptop behind Chauvin in court, but it’s not clear what he was doing there.
Another post showed Smith with a police squad car in the background. “From war to peace. When you capping about 12,” he wrote.
He was photographed with civil rights attorney Ben Crump in the past.
Minneapolis police were not involved in this shooting.