Brooklyn Center man indicted for first-degree murder

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Hennepin County grand jury indicted a Brooklyn Center man for first-degree pre-mediated murder and four other counts related to the shooting, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

The grand jury returned the indictment Oct. 6 against Jamal Kareem Newell, 34, in the shooting death of Michael Damien Wayne Polk. Newell was also indicted for attempted first-degree murder in the wounding of another man and for possession of a gun by a prohibited person based on prior crimes of violence.

According to a criminal complaint filed against Newell before the indictment, on Aug. 7, at approximately 4:30 p.m., two men walked out of a store near the intersection of 35th and Penn Avenues North and got into their car. Around that time, a gold Monte Carlo with a black hood and black front quarter panels drove up and, without warning, five gunshots were fired into the car of the two men. One shot hit Polk in the head and lodged in his brain. He was declared brain dead at the hospital. The second man, who was shot in the back, told police that he rolled out of the car to avoid being shot again.

Two days later, Minneapolis police officers responded to a call of gunshots at a residence near 41st and Dupont Avenues North, which is approximately a five-minute drive from where Polk was killed. The driver of a car jumped out and began shooting at a group of seven people who had been standing in front of a house. A 13-year-old girl was struck in her left bicep, the complaint states.

Newell and his girlfriend were driving the girl to the hospital in the gold Monte Carlo when they were stopped by police who helped the girl get transported to the hospital in an ambulance. Meanwhile, investigators at the house learned that one of the men had fired back at the attackers and he took police inside the house and turned over the gun he used to them. However, police saw a revolver in plain sight and confiscated it, as well, and the man told police Newell had shown him the gun two days earlier.

A forensic expert in the Minneapolis police crime lab test fired the revolver and said those bullets had features that matched the bullets recovered from the scene where Polk was killed, the complaint states.

Below is the criminal complaint filed before the grand jury indictment.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)