Two Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot a man that stabbed a bystander during an apartment complex rampage were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by the Hennepin County attorney’s office on Monday.
Officer Eric Malmberg and Officer David Robins were justified in kicking down the door of a south Minneapolis apartment and shooting Raul Marquez-Heraldes April 4, said county attorney Mike Freeman. The officers were the first to arrive to the apartment at 2120 Minnehaha Ave. After police heard a man inside the apartment calling for help, forcing them to kick open the locked door. They saw Marquez-Heraldes standing over the apartment resident, Alan Coleman. There was blood everywhere and Marquez-Heraldes was holding onto the handle of the knife which had been plunged into Coleman’s back
“All of the police officers at the scene acted correctly and bravely,” Freeman said in a news release. “When they first arrived and Mr. Marquez-Heraldes ran toward them with a knife, they ran behind a door without using deadly force. When more officers arrived and they realized they had a hostage situation, they tried to talk him into surrendering. It was only when they saw him stabbing the hostage that they opened fire in order to save a life.”
Coleman was rushed out of the apartment by police officers with the knife still in his back. He was treated at North Memorial Medical Center for a collapsed lung from the stabbing and a gunshot wound to his hand. He spent six days in the hospital.
Marquez-Heraldes, 50, died at Hennepin County Medical Center at 6:19 a.m. April 4. He had been shot multiple times, according to the report.
He also had methamphetamine in his blood at levels sufficient to produce psychotic behavior, including paranoid delusions, the report stated.
According to the report:
Marquez-Heraldes’ wife, Gloria Mestizo, told investigators that he had been panicked since Friday, April 1. She told her husband that he must go somewhere where he felt safe or she would take him to the hospital. On Sunday evening, he asked her to drop him at a friend’s apartment at 2120 Minnehaha.
That friend, Manuel Sanchez, allowed him to stay the night. However, sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. April 4, Sanchez heard Marquez-Heraldes go out into the hallway and he went out to get him. Back inside the apartment, he pushed Sanchez, so Sanchez ordered him to leave. Then the apartment manager, Terry Haigler, told Marquez-Heraldes he had to leave the building.
Marquez-Heraldes told Haigler he needed help, that someone was trying to kill his wife and that there were two men in a van outside the apartment with a rifle. Haigler went outside, saw a van but no one was in it. When he reported that to him, Marquez-Heraldes insisted there were people in the van, so Haigler called police.
Officer Jeffrey Perkins the officer he was field training, Brian Graupner. Haigler let them in. Marquez-Heraldes suddenly opened an apartment door, said something about the “Mexican mafia,” pulled out a knife and moved toward the officers. Graupner had his gun out but Perkins pulled him away and they both ran outside the apartment building, holding the door closed as Marquez-Heraldes tried to get at them, according to the report.
Marquez-Heraldes forced his way into a different apartment and more officers were called. Malmberg took over because he was trained in crisis intervention. Marquez-Heraldes refused to come out and Coleman told Malmberg that he was not free to leave.
After they shot Marquez-Heraldes, several officers moved into the bathroom where he had tumbled into the bathtub. However, as the officers reached to pull him out of the tub, Marquez-Heraldes began growling and swinging his arms. He attacked Officer Joshua Stewart and both men fell to the floor. When the officers finally handcuffed Marquez-Heraldes, Stewart noticed the chest wound, cut off Marquez-Heraldes’ shirt and began administering first aid, according to the report.
In March, the Hennepin County attorney’s office eliminated the long-standing and secret use of a grand jury in police-involved shootings, including the death of Jamar Clark. As a result, evidence is made public once the investigation is complete. Read the full report into the Marquez-Heraldes shooting here.