A stolen gun found under a Minneapolis porch last fall suggests Terrance Franklin was temporarily armed on the day he was fatally shot by police, according to new information released Wednesday.
The gun, a 9mm Desert Eagle handgun, was stolen from a home in northeast Minneapolis the day before Franklin was killed; it was recovered from the back yard of a home near the spot where Franklin started to run from police officers on May 10 as they sought to interview him about a burglary.
The gun was found wrapped in a black sock and analysis by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found Franklin’s DNA on the sock, Minneapolis police said at a news conference.
Asked if the sock and gun were proof that Franklin was armed on the day he was shot, Deputy Chief Kris Arneson said she couldn’t comment.
“People can draw their own conclusions from that,” she said. The department distributed a map that showed locations for the start of Franklin’s run, the location of the found gun, and the home where he was killed.
Though she did not elaborate on the gun’s relevance to Franklin’s death, Arneson did add that the department was sharing the information four months after the gun’s discovery because DNA results were only recently learned.
“We got this information yesterday morning from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension,” she said of the DNA analysis.
Police say the gun was found on Oct. 28 in the 500 block of W. 28th Street wedged between a house’s foundation and back porch. That’s the same block where Franklin dumped a vehicle on the day of the pursuit, and is five blocks from where he was killed.
The gun was found when a homeowner, who asked not to be named, was clearing leaves out from under his porch.
No DNA was found on the gun itself, said Minneapolis police crime lab director Shannon Johnson. Nor were fingerprints found, but she said that’s not unusual: an MPD study found usable fingerprints on handguns just 12 percent of the time, she said.
The relevance of the news conference was questioned by Mel Reeves, who last summer organized protests over Franklin’s killing. Calling it a smear campaign, he suggested that the police presented the evidence because they’re concerned about a pending lawsuit from Franklin’s family.
“This is all about disparaging one person,” he said. “They’ve killed him already. It’s not fair.”
The attorney representing some of the Franklin family, Mike Padden, said he expects to file a lawsuit within the next 30 days.
A police account said Franklin lunged at officers when he was eventually pulled from his hiding space in the cramped basement of the house he broke into during the pursuit. Police said he briefly took control of an MP5 submachine gun that was strapped to the chest of one of the officers. Franklin fired twice, striking officers Ricardo Muro and Michael Meath in the legs. They both survived.
DNA analysis later showed that Franklin touched the trigger of the MP5, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.
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