Man Killed By Minneapolis Cops During Raid Wasn't Their Target, Family Says

A man shot and killed by Minneapolis police officers Wednesday morning was not their intended target as he didn't live in the apartment where police were conducting the raid, according to a civil rights attorney who cited conversations with the man's family.

The shooting is the latest example of violence involving Minneapolis police officers in the past several years, which included incidents that resulted in the deaths of George Floyd and Daunte Wright and which led to convictions for murder and manslaughter, respectively, for the officers responsible.

Early Wednesday morning, Minneapolis SWAT officers who were assisting in the investigation of a St. Paul homicide conducted a raid at an apartment building, the Star Tribune reported.

Shortly after officers entered the apartment listed in the search warrant, a police incident report states that a shooting occurred and CPR was started minutes later, before paramedics transported the man to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The Star Tribune and the Associated Press both reported that local civil rights attorney and community activist Nekima Levy Armstrong said in a public Facebook post that she had communicated with the family of the man killed in the shooting and said Amir Locke, a Black man in his early 20s, was not one of the suspects police were searching for and was in the apartment because he was staying on a friend's couch.

Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said at a Wednesday news conference that they would not confirm the man's identity, but they had been in contact with his family. Huffman said she had reviewed body camera footage from the officers involved in the shooting, the Star Tribune reported.

Minneapolis Police Shooting Amir Locke Search Warrant
A Minneapolis police officer fatally shot a man on Wednesday who authorities say had a loaded gun in his hand. Above, police investigate a shooting in Minneapolis on Wednesday. Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP

Huffman said about nine seconds after police entered the apartment, officers encountered a man with a handgun, and the man was shot while holding the gun, according to the Tribune. Levy Armstrong has reportedly said that Locke's family told her he had a permit for the weapon recovered from the scene by police.

Police officials have identified Mark Hanneman as the officer who shot the man in the apartment, and the AP reported that he has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy. The AP and Tribune also reported that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is overseeing the investigation into the shooting.

An incident report from police stated that the man who was shot had two gunshot wounds in his chest and one in his right wrist.

BCA spokesperson Jill Oliveira said in a statement to Newsweek that the next publicly available information will be the identity of the deceased, which will be released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office. Oliveira did not provide a timeline for when that announcement would be made, and said additional information may be available once interviews are conducted with more officers or witnesses involved in the incident.

It has also not been confirmed if the SWAT officers executing the raid were conducting a "no-knock" warrant, but a police statement indicated that officers identified themselves multiple times while entering the apartment, the AP added.

Huffman and Frey have not said when body camera footage will be released to the public, which has been called for by several lawmakers in the wake of the shooting, according to the Star Tribune.

Ten Minnesota House lawmakers and the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota have sent a letter to Frey and Huffman and released a public statement, respectively, calling for the footage to be released to ensure a transparent investigation, according to WCCO-TV.