A burglary suspect grabbed at a Minneapolis police officer’s submachine gun and fired off the shots that injured two other officers May 10 before another officer shot and killed the suspect, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Terrence Franklin, 22, died after an intense struggle in the basement of a home in the Uptown neighborhood.
The deadly fight followed a dramatic, 90-minute chase through a crowded residential neighborhood during which Franklin eluded officers who swarmed the area, at one point hiding out in a bike shop as bewildered employees looked on.
The shooting, along with a related police-vehicle collision that claimed the life of motorcyclist Ivan Romero, 24, has for the past week consumed the administration of first-year Chief Janeé Harteau, who has given out limited information about the incidents while awaiting the completion of interviews and tests.
On Friday, the Police Department confirmed the names of the officers involved in the incident, but otherwise declined to comment for this story.
“I will not respond to information received from anonymous sources or information that could jeopardize an active investigation,” Harteau said in an e-mailed statement.
The chase started about 2 p.m. after a caller reported seeing a man he suspected of burglarizing his home, police said. When police confronted the man, later identified as Franklin, he fled, almost hitting an officer with his vehicle.
Franklin, who has a lengthy criminal record, was tracked to the basement of the Uptown house after the owner arrived home to find a broken window.
Two sources described a chaotic scene in the dimly lit basement, with officers using flashlights.
According to their account:
Minneapolis police Sgt. Andrew Stender, a K9 handler who was leading the department’s SWAT team into the house, went into the basement and unleashed the dog, which charged at Franklin and began biting him.
Franklin broke away and went behind a water heater, the sources said. The dog began pulling him out and Franklin stood up. Stender shouted at Franklin to put his hands up. When he didn’t cooperate, Stender started to drag Franklin out by his head as the dog kept its grip on his leg.
Stender, thinking he had the situation nearly under control, moved away to allow officer Luke Peterson, a member of the SWAT team, to step in.
Another struggle ensued, and Franklin broke away and leapt toward officer Mark Durand, another member of the SWAT team who was standing nearby with an MP5 submachine gun.
The sources said Durand struggled to hold the weapon down — it was on single-shot mode, not automatic — but Franklin was able to point it up and fire twice, shooting two other officers, Michael Meath and Ricardo Muro, in the legs.
Peterson, who was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, put himself between Durand and Franklin, who was still trying to get another shot off, the sources said.
Peterson then pulled out his side arm and shot Franklin, who died at the scene at 3:35 p.m., the sources said.
Meath and Muro were hospitalized but have been released.
The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said Franklin died of multiple gunshot wounds. The sources said it was unclear which officer other than Peterson shot Franklin.
Franklin’s body has been released from the medical examiner’s office. His friends were planning to hold a vigil Friday evening.
About 30 minutes after the shooting, a police vehicle responding to a call for assistance at the scene collided with the motorcycle at an intersection, killing Romero.
In a Friday news release, the Police Department said investigators had interviewed officer Joshua Young, the driver of the police SUV involved in the collision with Romero.
Harteau said the interview had been delayed due to the officer’s anxiety over the motorcyclist’s death. Young joined the department in 2006 and was awarded the Medal of Commendation in 2012 for his work apprehending a suspect who was assaulting a female in the hall of an apartment complex. He also was awarded the Life Saving Award for quick actions that saved a baby’s life in 2012.
Harteau said Meath and Muro will be interviewed next week.
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