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Family of man killed by Minneapolis police want answers

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Family of Terrance Franklin
Nehemiah Martin, 4, center, holds up a picture of his father, Terrance Franklin, who was killed Friday during an altercation with Minneapolis police officers. At left is Nehemiah's grandmother, Teresa Reynolds, and at right is his mother, Ashley Martin with son Ayden, 1 1/2 years. Franklin's family and friends are asking for answers about what happened.
MPR Photo/Elizabeth Dunbar

Family and friends of the man who was shot and killed during an altercation with two Minneapolis police officers say they want answers about what happened.

The investigation is ongoing into Friday's fatal officer-involved shooting of burglary suspect Terrance Franklin, 22, Minneapolis police officials say. 

Two officers were shot after they confronted Franklin in a home in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. Police have said Franklin tried to grab an officer's gun during a struggle. Investigators are still trying to determine who fired the shots that struck the officers and killed Franklin.

One of the injured officers is now resting at home and the other is improving, Chief Janee Harteau said.

Concerned family members of Franklin gathered at City Hall Monday afternoon.

"He was 22 and he [had] changed his life around," said Ashley Martin, the mother of Franklin's 4-year-old son, Nehemiah. "He was just trying to take care of his son. He was working at one point and was in college. He wasn't a bad person, and he was loved by so many. He had so many friends and family."

Martin says Franklin's family is trying to get police to release his body so they can hold a funeral. Police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington said the Hennepin County Medical Examiner determines when to release Franklin's body. 

Martin said the initial explanation police have given about the incident doesn't seem plausible. 

"My son doesn't have a dad anymore. I don't really know how to explain it to him, but that's the part that hurts the most — that he doesn't have a dad," she said. "I just want justice for [Franklin], and my son, at least."

Martin's mother, Teresa Reynolds, held a stack of photos of Franklin. 

"There's a lot of questions, a lot of questions. What really happened?" she asked. 

At a police awards ceremony Monday morning, Harteau thanked an auditorium full of officers for their service.

"Last Friday's traumatic events serve as another reminder of how dangerous it truly is to be a police officer," Harteau said. "Never knowing if that so-called routine call turns into something more significant or life-threatening."