Man, 28, gets eight years in prison for shooting at National Guard in Minneapolis

Gunner, 28, gets eight years in prison for shooting National Guard soldiers while deployed in Minneapolis for Derek Chauvin’s verdict

  • Andrew Thomas, 28, was sentenced to eight years in Minnesota state prison
  • Thomas pleaded guilty in Hennepin County district court earlier this week
  • He was charged with assault, drive-by shooting and illegal possession of weapons
  • On April 18, he fired at the National Guard vehicle with four troops in it
  • Two members of the National Guard had to be treated for injuries caused by shards of glass
  • National Guard deployed in Minneapolis ahead of Derek Chauvin . verdict

Andrew Thomas, 28, has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty in Minnesota court for shooting the National Guard in April

A 28-year-old man will serve eight years in state prison for injuring two members of the Minnesota National Guard in a drive-by shooting while protecting properties in Minneapolis just before Derek Chauvin’s ruling.

Andrew Thomas pleaded guilty this week in Hennepin County district court to assault with a dangerous weapon, drive-by shooting and illegal possession of a firearm, according to the Star Stand.

At about 4:20 a.m. on April 18, Thomas was driving west on West Broadway Avenue in a light-colored 2002 Ford Explorer SUV.

Prosecutors said Thomas fired multiple shots at a group of National Guardsmen stationed at the corner of Penn Avenue North and West Broadway Avenue.

A bullet went through the windshield of their military Humvee, where four Guardsmen were seated.

One of the guards was taken to hospital and treated for injuries caused by the shattered glass, while the other was treated at the scene for superficial wounds.

According to a federal complaint, surveillance video of the scene led investigators to the vehicle’s license plate and to Thomas, the registered owner.

At about 4:20 a.m. on April 18, Thomas was driving west on West Broadway Avenue in a light-colored 2002 Ford Explorer SUV.  Prosecutors said Thomas fired multiple shots at a group of National Guardsmen stationed at the corner of Penn Avenue North and West Broadway Avenue.  A bullet went through the windshield of their military humvee while four guards were inside

At about 4:20 a.m. on April 18, Thomas was driving a light-colored 2002 Ford Explorer SUV west on West Broadway Avenue. Prosecutors said Thomas fired multiple shots at a group of National Guardsmen stationed at the corner of Penn Avenue North and West Broadway Avenue. A bullet went through the windshield of their military humvee while four guards were inside

Members of the Minnesota National Guard were deployed to the streets of Minneapolis to provide security just before the judgment in the Derek Chauvin case in April

Members of the Minnesota National Guard were deployed to the streets of Minneapolis to provide security just before the judgment in the Derek Chauvin case in April

That same evening, Minneapolis police officers noticed a Ford Explorer that matched the vehicle’s description. The vehicle, which had heavily tinted windows, was seen exiting Interstate 94 West and heading south on Cedar Avenue.

As officers followed the vehicle, the SUV appeared to swerve and swing in and out of lanes.

Several police vehicles were in pursuit of the Ford, which turned into a gated parking lot nearby.

Officers arrested Thomas, who followed instructions and was taken into custody without incident.

Thomas was driving the car with an unnamed minor.

Thomas was initially named in a federal complaint, but the case was heard by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office

Thomas was initially named in a federal complaint, but the case was heard by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office

The minor told police there was a firearm in the vehicle and then took a gun from the center console.

When the vehicle was searched, used bullet casings were found.

Tests of the gun, a Springfield Armory XD-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol and bullets revealed markings similar to those found at the scene of the predawn drive-by shooting.

Court records show that in December 2017, Thomas was convicted of third-degree assault by Hennepin County prosecutors.

As early as April 11, the Minneapolis area was on alert for a Chauvin trial ruling in the death of George Floyd, when a police officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright at a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center.

Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd in late April. He was sentenced to more than 22 years in state prison.

Thomas has listed addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago.

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