Six shots were to the head; others were to the arm, neck and back.
Terrence Franklin was shot 10 times, with six of those shots grazing or entering his head, according to a copy of the autopsy report obtained Friday by the Star Tribune. The 22-year-old Minneapolis man who fled police May 10 and was eventually discovered hiding in the basement of a house in the Uptown neighborhood had additional gunshot wounds to his back, neck and right arm, the report said.
The medical report was released to the Franklin family on Friday, one day after the Hennepin County grand jury cleared police officers of any wrongdoing in Franklin’s death.
Franklin family attorney Mike Padden said the report, and a police narrative of what happened in the basement, doesn’t make sense as it portrays Franklin charging at the police officers rather than surrendering.
“What’s he going to do?” Padden asked Friday, “kill five guys in the basement and go out and face the army outside?”
Some details contained in the autopsy differ from the police account of Franklin’s death: The autopsy report counted 10 gunshot wounds, one of them from a bullet that grazed Franklin’s head; the police account said Franklin was shot eight times. Minneapolis police did not immediately respond to a request to explain the discrepancy.
The autopsy said he weighed 173 pounds and stood 5 foot 10 inches; the police account said he weighed 196 pounds and stood 5 foot 11 inches tall.
The medical examiner’s report adds that in addition to cash, movie ticket stubs and a lighter, Franklin’s pockets held a clear plastic bag of a leafy green substance. Tests revealed the presence of marijuana in his system, according to the autopsy.
Padden said the police account, which was released by Chief Janeé Harteau and her command staff in a Thursday evening news conference, unfairly “demonized” Franklin as it described him as a burglary suspect.
On the afternoon he was killed, Franklin stopped at an apartment building at 2743 Lyndale Av. S. The building manager called 911 because he suspected Franklin was the same person who had earlier burglarized one of the units. The 911 call set in motion the police chase that ended with Franklin’s death.
Padden, however, said Franklin was at the building to visit a woman he knew. They drove out of the parking lot together several minutes later, with Franklin striking a Minneapolis police squad car as he pulled away.
Padden said Franklin drove off after the collision because he was on probation for operating a car without a driver’s license and knew he would go to jail if he was caught. He eventually ditched the vehicle and ran off on foot, calling the owner of the car to tell her where she could find it.
That woman, according to Padden, was detained by police when she showed up minutes later to get her car.
With numerous police officers still searching for Franklin, the woman was told by a female officer that Franklin had “tried to kill” the officer with his vehicle, according to Padden.
Franklin called three people while hiding and learned from them of the numerous police officers who were pursuing him.
“He heard dogs. He knew they were after him,” said Padden. “He was very, very scared.”
Padden said Franklin’s family disputes the police department’s contention that Franklin grabbed a police officer’s gun and fired it twice while struggling with officers in a darkened, cramped basement.
“They were saying they were shooting to kill because he had shot a gun,” he said. “I don’t agree that he shot a gun.”
Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747