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Amir Locke has been identified by community members as the man fatally shot by Minneapolis police who were conducting a search warrant related to a St. Paul police homicide investigation on Wednesday morning. 

The shooting happened at about 6:48 a.m. at the Bolero Flats, 1117 S. Marquette Ave. Interim Minneapolis police Chief Amelia Huffman said members of the Minneapolis Police Department SWAT team were serving a search warrant and used a key fob to enter the apartment unit, at which point Huffman said officers "loudly and repeatedly announced 'police search warrant'" before entering and continued to announce their presence. 

Just over 9 seconds after they entered the apartment, "the officers encountered a male who was armed with a handgun. He was holding that gun in his hand at the time that shots were fired," Huffman said.

Locke, who was pronounced dead after being taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, was shot twice in the chest and once in the right wrist, according to a Minneapolis Fire Department report.

Huffman said only one officer – identified as Officer Mark Hanneman – fired his gun. 

Civil rights lawyer and racial justice activist Nekima Levy-Armstrong confirmed Locke's identity via family members. who she says informed her that Locke, a Black man under the age of 25, was a licensed gun owner with a conceal and carry permit. 

MPD on Wednesday night released images of the gun Locke was allegedly in possession of when he was shot, however there has been no release of police bodycam footage despite growing calls from community members.

MPD says body cameras were activated during the incident, so audio and video of encounter has been reviewed by Chief Huffman and is part of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's investigation.

"They need to release the body camera footage immediately," Levy-Armstrong demanded. "My heart goes out to the family of Amir Locke. This was an avoidable tragedy."

Neither MPD nor the Office of Mayor Jacob Frey has provided any timeline for if or when the body camera video will be made available to the public.

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What is yet to be confirmed is if Locke was a named suspect on the St. Paul PD search warrant, though Levy-Armstrong claims he wasn't, saying: "In essence, police were not even looking for Amir when they busted into the apartment."

Locke's family believes he was sleeping on the couch – and that he doesn't live at the address on the 7th floor of the Bolero Flats – when the SWAT team entered the apartment. Per Levy-Armstrong, his family believes "he was startled" and grabbed his gun "trying to protect himself." 

It's also not clear if officers were serving a "no-knock warrant," which Mayor Frey announced in November 2020 that MPD would be restricting the use of.

Under the new policy, officers must announce their presence as they enter and "periodically announce themselves" to give those inside time to respond.

However, there are exceptions for "unannounced entry" warrants in high-risk situations where there is a risk of imminent danger to officers or the public, with the Pioneer Press noting that this has to be signed off by a judge.

Note: Some of the details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

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