St. Paul police responding to a 911 call find 38-year-old Otis Elder with a fatal gunshot wound to the back outside a music recording studio in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. Surveillance footage showed two teenagers running toward a Mercedes, after robbing Elder, and speeding away down Interstate 94. Traffic cameras tracked the stolen vehicle to the Bolero Flats apartment complex in downtown Minneapolis. The SUV was tied to at least three previous armed robberies in the Twin Cities.
A University of Minnesota police officer found the Mercedes abandoned in a downtown parking ramp. It was towed to the St. Paul police impound lot, where forensic analysts pulled latent fingerprints matching those of 17-year-old Mekhi Speed and 16-year-old Feysal J. Ali. (Both have since been charged in connection with Elder's death.)
Investigators also reviewed video obtained from Bolero Flats, which showed the SUV entering the ramp shortly after the murder. Two teenagers walk inside the building — wearing the same clothing observed on the suspects at the crime scene. Apartment managers identify one of the boys as Speed, who lives with his mother in Unit 1402. However, Speed has previously requested a key to Unit 701, where his older brother lives with his girlfriend.
8:43 a.m.: St. Paul police Sgt. Daniel Zebro applies for a standard knock-and-announce warrant to search Unit 701 of the Bolero Flats, which is approved by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. Two subsequent warrants are filed for Units 1402 and 1403, with primary objectives of locating the murder suspects and preserving potential evidence in the case. St. Paul police asked that Minneapolis officers execute the search on their behalf, as is common when a suspect property is outside city boundaries.
6:35 a.m.: Minneapolis police Sgt. John Sysaath contacts St. Paul investigators to say that Minneapolis SWAT teams would not assist unless the warrants were rewritten as "no-knock" warrants.
9:23 a.m.: A St. Paul police sergeant calls back to say that the administration had signed off on a predawn, no-knock entry — a tactic not used in St. Paul since 2016.
10:50 a.m.: Sysaath conducts reconnaissance at 1117 S. Marquette after receiving keys to apartments 1402, 1403 and 701. Minneapolis police Sgt. Troy Carlson later claims Sysaath saw the subjects of the warrant "in person" when they reconned the apartments.
1:20 p.m.: Cahill signs newly submitted no-knock warrants for all three apartments. The applications cite numerous concerns about the potential danger that Speed and his accomplices posed to officers in a raid..
6 a.m.: Two Minneapolis Police Department SWAT teams assigned to carry out the search warrants at Bolero Flats attend a briefing on the tactical plan. The officers are told they are to execute a "high-risk" search warrant in order to recover firearms and other evidence related to the St. Paul homicide..
6:42 a.m.: Officers execute the warrants on apartments on the 14th floor without incident. None of the homicide suspects are found.
SWAT Team 1280 then takes the elevators down to the seventh floor to search apartment 701. This apartment belongsto Tatyana Henderson. She and her boyfriend, Marlon Speed, are sleeping in the bedroom, while Speed's cousin Amir Locke sleeps on the couch in the living room.
6:48:03: Officer Aaron Pearson quietly unlocks the door and backs away. Sysaath, Carlson, officers Mark Hanneman, Pearson, Dominic Manelli, Conan Hickey, Nathan Sundberg and Ryan Carrero and Sgt. John Biederman enter in that order. Each one announces, in overlapping shouts, "Police, search warrant," as they enter. Locke stirs beneath a blanket on the couch.
6:48:08-12: An officer yells, "Hands, hands." Hanneman also yells, "Hands," while raising his gun and moving forward into the living room. Hanneman points his gun directly at Locke, who is still beneath the blanket. Locke rolls over, still covered by the blanket while holding a firearm pointed at the ground, his finger off the trigger.
6:48:13: Hanneman states, "Show me your hands." Within the same second, he fires. Hanneman later recalls firing three gunshots in total. After the shots are fired, an officer says, "He's got a gun."
After the shots: Locke, still alive, falls to the floor on his side, moving. Hanneman jumps onto Locke's back and forces him on his stomach. Multiple officers push down on Locke and help ziptie his hands behind his back.
The officers turn Locke over, showing multiple torso wounds. They then cut the flex cuffs off so a team of medics from the hallway can perform CPR. Locke does not have a pulse by that time.
Detainment of Speed and Henderson: Officers continue to clear the bedroom behind a closed door. They locate Speed and Henderson in bed, order them to the ground, and ziptie their hands. Speed and Henderson later describe waking to the sounds of the SWAT team's entry, fearing it a break-in at first, and not realizing it was police until they entered the bedroom.
Officers carry Locke down to an ambulance. He is pronounced dead at HCMC.
The autopsy: The Hennepin County Medical Examiner later finds five gunshot wounds to Locke's face, chest, shoulder and wrist.