The police killing of Amir Locke

Minneapolis police kill man while serving search warrant

an apartment building in Minneapolis
The apartment building where a man was shot and killed by police during the execution of an arrest warrant on Wednesday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Updated: Feb. 3, 8:23 a.m. | Posted: Feb. 2, 10:40 a.m.

Minneapolis police officers serving a search warrant Wednesday morning encountered a man with a handgun as they entered a downtown high-rise apartment, and one of the officers shot and killed him, the city’s interim police chief said.

Amelia Huffman offered only limited details about the circumstances, but said SWAT officers gained entry to the seventh-floor apartment using a key fob and loudly and repeatedly called out police “search warrant” as they entered.

About nine seconds in, officers encountered the man, who was holding a handgun, and “shots were fired,” Huffman said. She didn’t say how many shots, or if the man who was killed fired his gun. A statement by the city Wednesday afternoon said the gun was pointed at police.

Documents released by the city of Minneapolis late in the day offered new, key details. Among them:

  • The warrant was at one point considered a “high risk entry” and the entry involved “no noise expected,” according to dispatch data;

  • A city fire department report said the man killed suffered two gunshot wounds to his chest and one to his wrist;

  • The city identified the officer involved in the shooting as Mark Hanneman.

The warrant was tied to an ongoing investigation by St. Paul police into the Jan. 10 killing of a 38-year-old St. Paul man in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. Law enforcement sources said the apartment was one of three in the building that officers had targeted.

Minneapolis police kill man while serving search warrant

Investigators recovered a 5.7 mm weapon at the scene, Huffman said, adding that she had seen body camera video recorded at the time. She did not say if it had captured the entry or gunfire. No one else was reported hurt in the incident. 

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents worked the scene near Marquette Avenue and 12th Street in Minneapolis. The BCA is typically called in when police officers shoot someone on duty.

‘Absolute shock’

Neighbors in the building described the morning as quiet, and said they didn’t hear any commotion or or any gunfire at all.

Keri Coquemont lives on the same floor, and was walking her dog shortly after the shooting. She said there were a number of officers still in the hallway and outside a nearby apartment, hours after the incident. 

“I’m actually in shock. Absolute shock,” she said, adding that the building had been becoming “less safe,” and said she was assaulted in the elevator last weekend. 

Minneapolis police had announced in November 2020 that they were limiting use of so-called “no knock” warrants, either for searches or arrests, in which officers don't ask for entry into a target location or announce their intentions before going in.

Police accountability activists held a press conference at the scene of the shooting Wednesday evening.

Nekima Levy Armstrong of the Racial Justice Network says she and others have questions about exactly what happened Wednesday morning.

“Who orchestrated this within the Minneapolis Police Department, who authorized it and why? Why was this the priority?"

Levy Armstrong says the family of the deceased told her they believed he had a permit to carry a firearm and that he was not named on the warrant. MPR News has not been able to independently confirm those details.

Mayor Jacob Frey also spoke briefly about the shooting Wednesday.

"Any loss of life is tragic," Frey said. "Truth and transparency, as is always the case, will be the guiding principals as the investigation itself is conducted. The investigation is already underway with the BCA and we will be offering updates and facts as quickly as possible."

He did not say if he was going to release video of the incident immediately, as has happened in other shootings involving police in the area.

MPR News reporter Matt Sepic contributed to this report.

Watch the brief press conference by interim chief Amelia Huffman on the shooting: