An autopsy report released Sunday said that the man who struggled with police officers in a south Minneapolis house Friday afternoon died of multiple gunshot wounds.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s report does not say who shot Terrance Franklin, 22, and police have only said that he tried to gain control of a police machine pistol, known as an MP5, from an officer, after they had chased him into a basement.
In addition to Franklin’s death, two officers were shot in the legs and a motorcyclist died after colliding with a police vehicle headed to the shooting scene.
Police officials including Chief Janeé Harteau have offered few details about either the shooting or the crash that occurred 30 minutes after Franklin died, raising numerous questions, including who fired the fatal shots and whether police cars entered an intersection on a red light when the emergency appeared to be over.
“We understand the questions that are being asked. The MPD has the same questions,” said department spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington. “We owe it to the citizens and the officers to complete a thorough investigation.”
Barrington said the incidents occurred only 48 hours ago and investigators continue working on the cases. “There are no benefits to anyone, specifically all those involved and impacted, to give information without supporting facts and evidence,” she said.
“Once the investigation is complete and we have all the facts, if there are issues raised from [the] investigative date, Chief Harteau will address those issues immediately,’’ Barrington said. “That includes current policies and procedures.”
More than a half-hour after Franklin died, Ivan Romero Olivares, 24, was killed at the intersection of 26th Street and Blaisdell Avenue S. when his motorcycle collided with a police SUV headed to the shooting scene. The SUV, with its flashing lights and siren on, had been traveling well below the posted speed limit and video evidence showed that the motorcycle struck the rear passenger side of the squad car, police said.
According to witnesses, the motorcycle had a green light and the police SUV, followed by more police vehicles, was traveling on 26th Street when it went through a red light at Blaisdell Avenue.
Police have released few details about either the shooting or the collision, saying it is an active investigation. Investigators are still awaiting forensic tests on evidence from the shooting scene.
A spokesman for Mayor R.T. Rybak said Sunday that he was unable to reach him. The mayor has been briefed by the chief “on as much as we know at this point,” said John Stiles.
“It’s too early in the investigation to know whether there are any aspects of policy or protocol to be concerned about,” he said.
Franklin, who has no permanent address, died at 3:35 p.m. Friday in the basement of a house at 2717 Bryant Avenue S. The shooting happened nine blocks west of the accident scene.
Franklin had fled in a car and then on foot after being confronted by officers who had received a report he may have committed an earlier burglary. He was shot after he allegedly struggled with a police dog and then with officers in the basement of the house on Bryant Avenue.
Police have said he had a lengthy criminal history and a check of court records showed he had been convicted of making terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a pistol and giving officers a false name.
Michael Meath, one of the wounded officers, was released from the hospital Sunday. The other wounded officer, Ricardo Muro, and a passenger on the motorcycle remained in satisfactory condition at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Three Minneapolis attorneys who heard sirens and a crash and ran out of their law office on a corner where a motorcycle and police squad collided said Sunday they were dismayed at what they said was a lack of immediate medical attention for the victims.
Bruce Goldstein said the accident victims lay side-by-side, with the dark-colored motorcycle on its side several feet away. The woman, identified Sunday by police as Joselin Torrejon-Villamil, was motionless at first but then began crying and screaming. She was trying to get up, and no officer went to her side to try to calm her or get her to remain still, the attorneys said.
“I did not see any first aid given until the firemen arrived,” Goldstein said.
“I don’t want to paint the cops or anyone in a bad light,” said attorney Rashmi Seneviratne, “but what I did remember noticing and thinking was really bad, was when the ambulance came and they were putting the girl on the stretcher, they covered her boyfriend up with a white sheet right in front of her, so she knew that he was dead. And that really added to the emotional trauma of that incident.”