2 Minneapolis officers wounded, 2 people deadby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — Two people are dead and two Minneapolis police officers are recovering after a search for a burglary suspect took a chaotic turn Friday.
The string of deadly events began when a south Minneapolis resident recognized a man he believed had burglarized a home. The resident then called Minneapolis Police at about 2 p.m., Police Chief Janee Harteau said.
"Officers responded to the area and saw the suspect," Harteau said. "The suspect fleed in a vehicle, striking a marked squad (car), and then almost striking a Minneapolis officer who was on foot."
The suspect crashed his car and ran. Officers pursued him into the 2700 block of Bryant Ave. S. neighborhood just west of Lyndale Avenue and several blocks south of Interstate 94. Police cordoned off the area and began to search.
One officer stopped resident Teddy Bacich.
"And he said did I see anybody run by and I said no and then literally within two minutes there were squads up and down every alley and lane," Bacich said. "Every little roadway was blocked off by a cop car."
Police searched the area and officers directed incoming traffic away. Neighborhood resident Jim Bickal was arriving home from his job as a producer at MPR News. He waited in his car until officers completed the search.
"The cops said it was clear that I could go home," Bickal said. "And I drove into the alley, into my garage, and came upon my back porch and noticed that the back window to my door was broken, was smashed."
Bickal alerted a police officer, and watched as dozens of cops with assault rifles and pistols ran into his home.
Just down the street, officers streamed past Bacich. He recalled one was yelling directions.
"And he kept saying 'green house, red door, green house, red door,'" Bacich said. "They ran through the yards, went up in. Surrounded the house for a good 10, 15 minutes."
Bickal stood outside his green house with a red door. He heard gunshots inside.
"And then they brought a police officer out and were working on him in my front yard," Bickal said.
Two officers were injured. Police told Bickal the suspect was dead in the basement laundry room of the house.
Harteau gave further details.
"A canine and his handler entered the residence. The canine located the suspect inside the residence, and while trying to apprehend the suspect, the suspect attacked the canine," Harteau said "Additional officers entered the residence to help the canine handler and the canine. An intense struggle then ensued."
Harteau declined to say whether or not the man had a weapon or how the officers were shot. The officers' names have not been released.
A statement released later Friday reported that the suspect had been shot.
Also about this time several blocks away at 26th and Blaisdell Avenue S., when a Minneapolis officer en route to assist at the shooting scene collided with a motorcycle carrying two people. One man died, and a woman is in satisfactory condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. The officer was not injured.
Harteau called the situation tragic.
"This has truly been an intense and challenging day for the Minneapolis police department and the city of Minneapolis," she said.
Harteau emphasized the investigation into yesterday's events is in the early stages.
Minneapolis City Councilmember Meg Tuthill lives three blocks away. She said violence happens in every neighborhood.
"But people shouldn't uncomfortable or unsafe here, because we do pay attention to what's going on," Tuthill said.
She said North Lowry area is different because neighbors know and look out for each other.