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Police arrest teen suspect Mekhi Camden Speed in investigation that led to fatal Amir Locke shooting

Police shooting prompts calls to ban no-knock warrants
Police shooting of Amir Locke prompts calls to ban no-knock warrants 02:13

Minnesota police have arrested a 17-year-old suspect in a murder investigation which led to the fatal shooting of Amir Locke, the Saint Paul Police Department said Tuesday. The suspect, identified as Mekhi Camden Speed, is a cousin of Locke, according to charging documents obtained by CBS Minnesota

Police arrested Speed on Monday afternoon. He was expected to be charged on Tuesday with two counts of second degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing 38-year-old Otis Elder last month, the police department said. 

Authorities were carrying out three no-knock warrants at an apartment building in Minneapolis last week, looking for Speed, when they shot and killed Locke. Now, Tuesday's charging documents are shedding more light on the two shooting deaths. 

Death of Otis Elder

On January 10, authorities responded to an address on Prior Avenue in St. Paul and found Elder on the ground near a 2001 Chevy Tahoe with gunshot wounds. Several witnesses told police that they had seen a male standing outside of the SUV allegedly shoot into the vehicle. One witness saw a silver Mercedes-Benz speed away.

Authorities reviewed surveillance video, and found a scene nearly identical to the one witnesses had described: a light Mercedes-Benz pulled up next to Elder's SUV. One male got into the passenger seat, another stood outside of the driver's side door. The male outside of the car, dressed in a dark jacket, light-colored hooded sweatshirt and white shoes, shot into it before the two males ran back to their Mercedes-Benz.

Police tracked the car's movements that night. It went to the Bolero Flats apartment building in Minneapolis, where it parked, left and then returned again. Video footage allegedly shows three males get out of the car, two of whom appeared to be from the murder scene.

Witnesses at the apartment complex were able to identify the male in the light-colored hooded sweatshirt as Speed. The building's staff told authorities that Speed had access to his brother's apartment, his mother's apartment and another person who he was with the night of the murder's apartment.

Nearly two weeks after the murder, police found the Mercedes-Benz on a parking ramp in Minneapolis. Surveillance video of the ramp showed the Mercedes-Benz driving onto the ramp four hours after Elder's murder. Four males got out of the car and took items from the trunk. One of them carried a large black duffle bag with a white logo. Authorities determined one of the males was Speed.

Deadly no-knock warrant

With this evidence, police were able to obtain search warrants for the three different Bolero Flats apartments Speed was associated with. The Saint Paul Police Department said Tuesday that the warrants related to the case will "likely be unsealed after charges have been filed."

Early Wednesday morning, a SWAT team executed one of the warrants. Video of the raid showed someone — later identified as Locke, a 22-year-old Black man — wrapped in a blanket on a couch in the apartment. Officers shouted at Locke to show his hands and to get on the ground. Locke, who was a legal gun owner, then sat up with a gun before he was shot. 

Speed was not at the apartment during the fatal encounter, charging documents stated.

An incident report said Locke was shot twice in the chest and once in the right wrist. He was transported to a medical center where he died. Public information documents named Mark Hanneman as the officer who shot Locke. Hanneman is on administrative leave.

During the raid, police obtained a jacket suspected to be Speed's, a bullet, Locke's gun and marijuana from the apartment. That same morning, authorities conducted two separate warrants at apartments where Speed was suspected to be, but the teen was not present at either location. Officials seized a hat, duffle bag, tennis shoes, pants and another jacket suspected to be Speed's, as well as a "large amount of marijuana from the apartment," charging documents stated. 

The police killing of Locke has spurred protests and criticism from officials demanding justice. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said the police's practices are "unforgivable," and called for the immediate termination of Hanneman. 

"A life was taken, which demands transparency, but perhaps more importantly, accountability," the association said Saturday.

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, who represents Minneapolis, blamed Locke's death on the "violent, unchecked, and unreformed behavior of our city's police." She called for an expedited investigation into the incident. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed an immediate moratorium on the request and execution of no-knock warrants in the city. And Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who recently lead the prosecutions of Derek Chauvin and Kim Potter, said he will "conduct a fair and thorough review" of Locke's case with the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. 

On Tuesday, hundreds of students in Minnesota walked out of class in protest of Locke's death, according to CBS Minnesota.

Speed's arrest

Over the weekend, authorities were able to match a print on the exterior of the Mercedes-Benz's passenger side door to Speed.

On Monday, officers found Speed in Winona, Minnesota. When officers approached him, Speed tried running away before he was eventually stopped and arrested. Speed was wearing a black jacket similar to the one he wore in the surveillance video the night of the Elder's murder, and he had a gun at the time of his arrest. He refused to speak with investigators, the charging documents said. 

Attorneys for the Locke family issued a statement after the news of Speed's arrest Tuesday, confirming that the two were cousins and that Speed was not in the apartment at the time of the fatal shooting.

"All available information confirms that Amir was never a target of that investigation or those search warrants," the statement said. "We must remain focused on the fact that Amir was an innocent young man of a raid gone terribly gone, who is now the latest statistic and victim of the dangerous and intrusive no-knock warrant techniques that must be banned."

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