Brian Quinones: Who was aspiring hip-hop artist who live-streamed police chase that ended in fatal shooting on Facebook?

Brian Quinones
Brian Quinones live-streamed police chase on Facebook. Pic credit: Brian Quinones/Facebook Live video

A graphic Facebook livestream shows the moments leading to the shooting death of Brian Quinones, an aspiring hip-hop artist.

Quinones was shot dead by police officers in the suburb of Richfield, Minnesota on Saturday night. He live-streamed himself leading police on a chase through the streets of Edina and Richfield, according to The Star Tribune.

The Facebook video (which has since been taken down) showed Quinones driving while listening to music. He ran the first red light near York Avenue in Edina. He also appeared to intentionally run through other red lights and this led to a police chase through Edina and neighboring Richfield.

Quinones streamed the chase on Facebook Live for about 12 minutes before pulling over and jumping out of his car. The video showed him looking calm and relaxed during the chase. He bobbed his head to hip-hop music from his radio and occasionally sang along. He did not appear to be driving at high speeds during the chase.

Police cars eventually intercepted him and forced him to stop near the intersection of 77th Street East and Chicago Avenue in Richfield.

Officers shot and killed him after he jumped out of the car. According to The Star Tribune, he was holding something in his hand that appeared to be a knife when he exited his car. Officers shouted “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before he was shot multiple times.

The Facebook live-stream reportedly continued for more than an hour after he was shot.

Although many Facebook users who saw the video agreed that he appeared to be holding something, it was not clear whether the object was a knife.

Police later released a statement about the incident:

“On Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10:22 p.m. a police pursuit that began in Edina, ended in an officer involved shooting near the intersection of 77th Street East and Chicago Avenue in Richfield. The incident involved officers from the Edina and Richfield Police departments. No officers were injured during the incident.”

Who was rapper Brian Quinones?

Quinones was originally from Ponce in Puerto Rico, but he lived in Minnesota for many years before his death. He attended high school in Burnsville and worked at General Mills. He also worked on the side as a barber. According to his friends, he was married and had a son.

He released his first album titled TIME on SoundCloud, under the name Blessed The MC, shortly before his death.

He described himself in his SoundCloud bio as an “aspiring hip-hop artist” whose inspiration came from artists such as J. Cole, Kanye, Jay Z, DMX, Kid Cudi, King Kendrick, and Bone Thugz.

“My music is my interpretation of the world. I see the good as I do the evil,” he wrote. “My lyrics can be profound at times, witty, catchy, inspiring, and everything inbetween.”

“My name ‘Blessed the MC’ comes from my perspective,” the bio continued. “They say you are what you think. Therefore, I am Blessed. I acknowledge my Gods gifts & it plays into the law of attraction.”

He appeared to have had personal issues weighing on his mind before his death on Saturday night. About an hour before the chase that led to his death, he posted the comment “So sorry” on Facebook, and in another post, he reflected on what he termed “pivotal moments” in life.

“In life… There are pivotal moments that propel you. Moments you’ve strived for since your inception…. You’ll feel and know when that moment has arrived. At that point its fight or flight in an instant. I wholeheartedly pray you fight through. Otherwise you’ll look in that rearview and realize you’ve reached your destination before you enjoyed your final sunset.”

Quinones’ friends, fans, and supporters have been mourning his death and expressing grief on Twitter.  His brother Joshua reportedly admitted he was having suicidal thoughts before his death.

Some Twitter users argued that his death was a case of “suicide by cop.” The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is reportedly investigating the incident.

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