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17-Year-Old Cousin Of Amir Locke Arrested For Murder That Resulted In Fatal Warrant Service

Minneapolis, MN – Police arrested the younger cousin of 22-year-old Amir Locke for murder on Monday in connection with the investigation that led to Locke’s death when police were serving a warrant at an apartment in Minneapolis last week.

St. Paul police arrested 17-year-old Mekhi Camden Speed in Winona on Feb. 7 and charged him with two counts of second-degree murder, the New York Post reported.

The charges are in connection with the investigation of the Jan. 10 shooting death of Otis Elder in the 500-block of North Prior Avenue in St. Paul, WCCO reported.

Speed was booked in Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center and prosecutors there have asked to try the 17-year-old alleged killer as an adult.

The warrant for his arrest remained sealed but police have asked for it to be released as soon as possible.

“The search warrants related to case will likely be unsealed after charges have been filed,” the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) noted.

Locke, 22, was fatally shot on Feb. 2 as an eight-person Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) SWAT team was executing the warrant in connection with the SPPD homicide investigation, MPD Interim Chief Amelia Huffman said shortly after the incident occurred.

Bodycam footage released Feb. 3 showed an officer unlocking the apartment door just before the officers “loudly and repeatedly announced their presence” and entered the apartment, the MPD said in a news release.

They continued announcing themselves as they made their way into the living room area towards a couch, where a figure could be seen moving beneath a white blanket.

One officer kicked the couch and ordered the suspect to get onto the ground.

That’s when the suspect pointed a handgun in another officers’ direction, resulting in the officer firing at him multiple times, according to the press release.

“That’s the moment when the officer had to make a split-second decision, to assess the circumstances and to determine whether he felt like there was an articulable threat, that the threat was of imminent harm – great bodily harm or death – and that he needed to take action right then to protect himself and his partners,” Chief Huffman said, according to Bring Me The News.

“Ultimately, that decision, whether that threshold was met will be examined by the county attorney’s office that reviews this case,” she added.

Locke was not named in the search warrant, and Chief Huffman said investigators are still looking into “if or how Mr. Locke is connected” to the homicide case in St. Paul, Bring Me The News reported.

Charging documents indicated that police executed search warrants on three different apartments in Bolero Flats, searching for Speed, the night that Locke was fatally shot, WCCO reported.

Speed’s fingerprint had been found on a stolen silver Mercedes Benz that was reportedly used in multiple armed robberies last fall before it was dumped on a parking ramp in Minneapolis.

Officers tried to track down Speed through his probation officer and his mother before ultimately finding him in Winona, WCCO reported.

Speed tried to flee but was apprehended and arrested.

Police said he had a loaded gun in his jacket, and that it appeared to be the same jacket he was wearing in the surveillance video that showed him shooting Elder.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued a moratorium on no-knock warrants on Feb. 4, with the only exception being cases where there is an imminent threat of harm, KSTP reported.

Frey issued the moratorium amid heavy criticism from Locke’s family and community activists, many of whom have demanded the officer who shot Locke be fired and criminally charged, according to KSTP.

He has been identified as Mark Hanneman, a seven-year veteran of the MPD, KMSP reported.

“At the end of the day, I believe that [Amir] was executed by the MPD and I want the police officer that murdered my son to be prosecuted and fired,” Locke’s mother, Karen Wells, told KSTP. “My son didn’t deserve what happened to him.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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