Affidavit: Amir Locke’s cousin arrested in connection to St. Paul homicide, was target of search when Locke was shot
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Police have confirmed a St. Paul homicide suspect—who was connected to the search warrant that was served in Minneapolis last week and ended with a fatal shooting—has been arrested.
Although the suspect’s name has not yet been released, police say 17-year-old Mekhi Speed is now in custody after he was found in Winona. Prosecutors say they will file a petition to have Speed stand trial as an adult.
Speed was booked on suspicion of murder in connection to the death of 38-year-old Otis Elder, who was shot near Prior Avenue North and Oakley Avenue on Jan. 10. Formal charges against Speed are expected to be filed Tuesday in Ramsey County.
Speed and his associates were who law enforcement was searching for when they executed a search warrant last Wednesday morning and fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke. Police later revealed Locke was not named in the search warrant.
The petition states Locke was Speed’s cousin.
According to the juvenile petition, investigators were able to use traffic videos to track a Mercedes-Benz that sped away from the scene of Elder’s death to a Minneapolis apartment building, the Bolero Flats. Witnesses there were able to identify the boy in the Mercedes-Benz as Speed. It also states that the teen was listed as living in one apartment but had a key fob for another apartment, and one of the people Speed later returned with was associated with a third apartment.
Police had probable cause to arrest Speed and two of his associates for murder by Feb. 2 and obtained search warrants for all three apartments they were associated with, the petition states.
According to the petition, officers knew Speed had been in the apartment where Locke was fatally shot by police last month. It adds that investigators did find a jacket Speed was seen wearing from the apartment where Locke was shot.
The same morning officers shot Locke, police also executed a warrant at the two other apartments Speed was associated with. At one of them, nobody was home but police found a hat the teen was seen wearing after Elder’s murder, as well as a black duffel bag and a jacket worn by someone else Speed was seen with after Elder’s murder.
At the other apartment, one person was present but not Speed or his associates. Investigators seized a “large amount” of marijuana from that apartment.
Officers were able to find Speed in Winona on Sunday. When officers approached him, he ran but was arrested. The petition states he had a loaded gun in his jacket and refused to speak to investigators.
A clip of body camera video in Locke’s shooting released late Thursday shows a group of law enforcement officers turning a key to the apartment door silently.
Upon turning the handle, officers walk through the doorway and then yell to announce their presence. At least four officers enter the apartment.
“Police search warrant!” officers yell at least four times. Their continued yelling including shouts of “hands, hands!” and two calls for the man to “get on the ground” and “get on the f****** ground.”
A man is lying on a couch under a blanket unmoving and only rises when officers kick the couch.
He starts to rise from the waist, holding a handgun, with the barrel pointed toward the ground, finger out — not on the trigger.
An officer fires three shots from mere feet away while the man is still huddled under a blanket on the couch and the man falls to the ground. The video abruptly ends. Approximately nine seconds elapse from officers turning the key to shots being fired.
Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman said during a news conference after the footage was released that the officers announced their presence before entering the apartment amid repeated questioning that the video appeared to show that officers did not do so.
Huffman said Locke was a suspect and that the gun was pointed at officers. The video appears to show that the gun is pointed toward the floor. When asked about the discrepancy, Huffman said the video does not show all the officers in the frame. When pushed further on the topic, she said that will be up to county prosecutors to decide when reviewing the case.
In addition, St. Paul police said Tuesday the search warrants related to the case will likely be unsealed after charges have been filed.