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Two Minneapolis Police Officers Shot, Suspect Killed

A Minneapolis police chase erupted in gunfire Friday afternoon, leaving the suspect dead, two officers wounded and also claiming the life of a motorcyclist who collided with a squad car rushing to the shooting scene.

The male officers were listed in stable condition with gunshot wounds at Hennepin County Medical Center, police said.

The man, who family members identified as Terrance Franklin, 22, of Minneapolis, was shot after police chased him to a home at 2717 Bryant Av. S.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Police Chief Janee Harteau arrived at the hospital shortly after the shooting. Harteau spoke briefly, confirming that the officers, whose names were not released, were stable and the suspect was dead.

Investigators were not looking for any other suspects, the police chief said.

"This is a very tough day for the Minneapolis Police Department," Harteau said. "The situation was a tragic one."

Police said the incident started with a man fleeing police in a car, and then on foot. Before reaching the Bryant Avenue home, the man ran into Flanders Brothers Cycle, a bicycle shop at 2707 Lyndale Av. S.

"He said he wanted to see a bike," said Ann VanBellinger, a cyclist who was at the shop to visit with friends.

She and some of the shop's staff soon sensed something wasn't right, however. Minutes passed as the man, wearing a red T-shirt, black pants and sporting dreadlocks, stood by the front door peering out the display window as if hiding from someone.

Puzzled workers didn't know what to do and began fearing that he was casing the shop.

Suddenly, the man got up and ran toward the back of the bicycle shop, which has no rear exit.

John Haugh, a mechanic in the back of the shop who moonlights as a security guard for a downtown club, gave chase. The man hurdled a half door as he burst into the shop's rear service area, then ran up a short flight of stairs into a storage space at the back of the shop. Trapped, he ran through the storage space and started toward the front of the shop, blasting through a latched door.

His phone flew out of his pocket as he hurdled another half door. The phone broke into two pieces when it landed, and he stopped to pick it up.

He then ran out the front door, just as a squad car appeared. Staff at the shop said they saw him run across Lyndale Avenue with police trailing close behind.

A woman who lives nearby, Cassondra Nelson, said she and her friends had just returned from shopping when they saw police converged on her block, which is W. 28th Street, between Aldrich and Bryant Avenues S.

They appeared to be searching four homes across the street, going in and out of each with a police dog, she said. Officers were turning away cars, directing them away from the area.

A SWAT van arrived and headed north up the alley between Aldrich and Bryant, Nelson said.

A short time later, she heard two gunshots, and she and her friend went back inside her house.

She later overheard a Minneapolis police officer talking on a cellphone, saying that one officer had been shot and was being taken to the hospital, Nelson recounted.

After the shooting, police roped off a large area around the house where the shots were fired.

As time passed, more friends and relatives of Franklin's appeared at the shooting scene, looking for answers. They first heard of the shooting on Facebook, several of them said, then watched as

Franklin's Facebook page filled up with condolences.

"I just knew he was a good kid," said Nicole Guise, the mother of Franklin's three stepsiblings. "Every time he saw me he would hug me."

"He was a good person; he was not for this," said Shenise Guise, a relative. She and other members of the family became increasingly frustrated Friday evening as police officers guarding the neighborhood of the shooting would not allow them into the crime scene.

"I need to know!" shouted Franklin's father, Walter, who begged police officers to let him see the body.

A pair of higher ranking officers eventually appeared and took Walter Franklin aside for a private conversation. Walter Franklin, his head rocking back as if in grief, then walked away and sat down on a nearby lawn.

On Blaisdell Avenue, the body of the motorcyclist remained in the intersection with 26th Street for hours as law enforcement officers investigated the crash, which occurred as an officer sped toward the shooting.

According to witnesses, a female passenger on the motorcycle was injured when the squad car hit the back of the bike, throwing both riders off.

Enrique Martin, a witness, said police were heading west on 26th Street and the motorcycle was going south on Blaisdell Avenue.

Another witness interviewed by police, Kyndell Harkness, a Star Tribune photojournalist who witnessed the crash as she was on her way to photograph the shooting scene, said she was passed by three police cars with lights flashing and sirens on that went through the red light at Blaisdell, where the motorcyclist had a green light.

The first police car hit the motorcycle, she said, whose driver was not wearing a helmet and was wearing flip-flops.

The police cars stopped and officers rushed to try and help the motorcycle riders, Harkness said. The driver died at the scene and the woman passenger was taken to HCMC.

Copyright 2013 - Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service