Minn. investigators release file in Amir Locke death, including more video
Last week, prosecutors announced they would not be charging the SWAT officer who fatally shot Locke while executing a no-knock search warrant
Content warning: The following story contains video of a fatal police shooting that some viewers may find disturbing.
By Liz Sawyer, Abby Simons
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Newly released body camera videos by state investigators show additional angles of the chaotic seconds before 22-year-old Amir Locke was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during a predawn raid two months ago.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Monday released its case file on Locke's killing, less than a week after county and state prosecutors announced they would not charge the officer who shot him while executing a no-knock search warrant.
The file contains 828 pages of documents, dozens of photos, interview transcripts and body camera video related to the Feb. 2 shooting of Locke, who was sleeping on a couch inside a downtown Minneapolis apartment when officers barged in looking for evidence connected to an earlier St. Paul homicide.
The Star Tribune is not publishing the full report because it contains unredacted personal information of witnesses, including phone numbers and addresses.
Locke, who was not the subject of the warrant, stirred beneath a blanket and grabbed for his legally possessed handgun when he was shot within 10 seconds by Mark Hanneman. In a later interview with BCA agents, Hanneman claimed Locke pointed the gun at him — though it is not captured on his own body camera. Only the movement of Locke's blanket can be seen behind Hanneman's gun.
"In this moment, I feared for my life and the lives of my teammates," Hanneman would later tell investigators, according to a joint report released by the prosecutors last week. "I was convinced that the individual was going to fire their handgun and that I would suffer great bodily harm or death. I felt in this moment that if I did not use deadly force myself, I would likely be killed."
Body camera video from fellow SWAT officer Aaron Pearson shows Locke armed with a gun in his right hand, pointing downward — his index finger extended straight along the slide. Immediately after the shooting, officers are seen piling on top of Locke as he falls to the floor.
MPD officer Ryan Carrero, who declined to be interviewed and chose to submit a written statement, said it was his understanding that they might encounter a murder suspect in the apartment.
"I heard what resembled approx. (three) gunshots, unclear who was firing them at the time," he wrote. "I immediately heard 'He's got a gun' right after apparent gunshots."
In an interview, paramedic Michael Christian told the BCA that Locke was not breathing by the time he was brought down to them on the main floor. He saw wounds to Locke's chest, right wrist and lower jaw.
Last Wednesday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Attorney General Keith Ellison said there was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hanneman violated Minnesota's use-of-force statute.
Photos from the apartment show the sectional couch where Locke was sleeping, a pillow and blanket on the floor and the zip-tie handcuffs used to detain Locke after he was shot, along with the gun in the corner of the room.
When the Minneapolis SWAT team burst through her apartment door that morning, 22-year-old Tatyana Henderson was sleeping in the back bedroom with her boyfriend, Marlon Speed. The noise roused the couple, who initially feared someone was breaking in. Pops of gunfire sent them to the floor, Henderson later told BCA agents in an interview.
Only after officers entered the bedroom did she realize the intruders were actually law enforcement. They demanded to know if there were any weapons in the room, and Speed responded several times: "Don't shoot, don't shoot." Officers zip-tied their hands while processing the scene.
Locke, Speed's cousin, had been staying on Henderson's couch for the past three nights — an arrangement that was not uncommon. Henderson did not think Locke would be wanted by authorities because he was a quiet guy who just liked to make music, she told the BCA.
"He really didn't do much. Like all he did was like make music," she said, according to the transcript. "He barely talked, too ... But, he seemed like chill."
Several minutes into the interview, Henderson inquired about Locke's condition. She was not aware that he'd been killed in the shooting until BCA agents informed her.
"Oh, my God," she responds to the news, then begins to cry.
In a separate interview that morning, Marlon Speed recalled seeing blood in the living room, knowing that it belonged to his cousin. But, like Henderson, he was not aware that Locke had been killed until agents told him.
Other aspects of the report detail the origin of Locke's handgun. Locke's family previously said that he had a permit for his gun and carried it for protection while delivering for DoorDash.
When analysts ran the serial number of the gun through a national database, they discovered that it was initially purchased by a 25-year-old St. Paul man in April 2021 at Max Guns and Ammo in Savage.
Investigators requested a voluntary interview with the man, but his attorney told BCA agents that his client was "concerned that any information he provides may be used to present Amir Locke in a negative way," according to investigative reports.
Marlon Speed's brother and Locke's cousin, 17-year-old Mekhi Speed, and another teenager have been charged in the St. Paul killing that prompted the botched police raid. The teens are accused of fatally shooting 38-year-old Otis R. Elder during a robbery outside an East Side music recording studio in January.