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Silence grows louder: Questions unanswered after Mpls. shooting

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Minneapolis police continue to decline to answer key questions about what happened Friday in a shooting incident that left two SWAT officers injured and Terrance T. Franklin, 22, fatally shot in a basement in an Uptown home.

Police are asking for patience and they say they need time to let a diligent investigation play out. Police Chief Janeé Harteau declined Monday to answer specific questions about the Friday incidents. She tried to keep a focus Monday on the department’s National Police Week activities, including an awards ceremony and visits to precinct stations, the Star Tribune reported.

But many questions remain, including: Was Franklin armed? And: How many shots were fired, and by whom?

Police say Franklin was a suspected burglar who had a long arrest record and who fled police in a vehicle Friday afternoon. They say he crashed it twice before fleeing on foot, eventually into a home at 2717 Bryant Ave. S. Police say he attacked a police dog that had been sent in after him.

Then details get murky. Officers went into the house and shots were fired. SWAT team members Michael Meath and Ricardo Muro were injured. Police said Franklin fought with officers, and that he reached for an officer’s MP5 submachine gun.

Family members have been leaning on police for more specifics. His mother, Sheila O’Neal, said Franklin wouldn't shoot police, WCCO reported. “That’s not Terrance,” she said.

Neighborhood residents are clamoring for answers, too, so much so that Council Member Meg Tuthill, who represents the area, said she canceled a monthly lunch for constituents on Monday, knowing there “would be a million questions that I can’t answer for them,” the Star Tribune reported.

Franklin's girlfriend Ashley Martin, 21, talked to TV reporters gathered outside police headquarters, asserting that Franklin didn’t have a gun, and adding that she is suspicious about the investigation. "Like the whole story is not adding up at all," she said, KARE 11 reported.

Yet more questions swirl around the fatal crash in which a police car and a motorcycle collided as the officer was on the way to the shooting scene. The motorcyclist died and a motorcycle passenger was injured. The crash was more than 30 minutes after the shooting, prompting questions about whether the officer was unnecessarily rushing to the scene. But it has not been determined whether the officer was speeding at all, or whether the officer ran a red light, the Star Tribune reports.

FOX 9 examines another question: Should the Minneapolis police be conducting the investigation, or should an outside agency probe the incidents?

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