MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The two Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot a 50-year-old man in April as he was stabbing another man will not be charged with any crimes, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.
Freeman said the officers were right to use deadly force once they realized they were dealing with a hostage situation and the hostage was being stabbed.
Officers Eric Malmberg and David Robins were the first ones into the apartment at 2120 Minnehaha Ave. after police heard a man inside the apartment calling for help, forcing them to kick open the locked door, according the report.
The two then saw Raul Marquez-Heraldes standing over the apartment resident, Alan Coleman. There was blood everywhere and Marquez-Heraldes was “holding onto the handle of the knife which had been plunged into Coleman’s back,” according to the report.
Marquez-Heraldes died from his gunshot wounds at Hennepin County Medical Center on April 4. He also had methamphetamine in his blood at levels “sufficient to produce psychotic behavior, including paranoid delusions,” the report said.
Coleman spent six days in the hospital for a collapsed lung and a gunshot wound to his hand.
According to the report, Marquez-Heraldes’ wife, Gloria Mestizo, said he had been panicked since April 1, so she told him that he should go somewhere he feels safe, or she would take him to the hospital.
On April 3, Marquez-Heraldes asked his wife to drop him off at his friend’s apartment at 2120 Minnehaha Ave.
His friend, Manuel Sanchez, allowed him to stay the night. Sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. April 4, Sanchez heard Marquez-Heraldes go out into the hallway so he went out to get him.
Back inside the apartment, Marquez-Heraldes pushed Sanchez, so Sanchez ordered him to leave. Then the apartment manager, Terry Haigler, told Marquez-Heraldes he had to leave the building.
Marquez-Heraldes told the apartment manager he needed help and that someone was “trying to kill his wife and that there were two men in a van outside the apartment with a rifle," but when Haigler went to check the van there was no one inside.
The apartment manager called police. Two officers arrived on scene and were let into the building.
According to the report, Marquez-Heraldes opened one of the apartment doors, said something about the “Mexican mafia,” pulled out a knife and moved towards the officers.
One of the officers had his gun out, but the other pulled him away and they both ran outside the apartment building, holding the door closed as Marquez-Heraldes tried to get at them.
Marquez-Heraldes forced his way into a different apartment, and more officers were called, including Officers Malmberg and Robins. Officer Malmberg took over because he was trained in crisis intervention.
Marquez-Heraldes refused to come out.
The officers shot Marquez-Heraldes and he fell into the bathtub. As the officers reached to pull him out, Marquez-Heraldes began growling and swinging his arms.
He attacked another officer, and both men fell to the floor. When the officers finally handcuffed Marquez-Heraldes, the officer noticed the chest wound, cut off Marquez-Heraldes’ shirt and began administering first aid, according to the report.
“All of the police officers at the scene acted correctly and bravely,” Freeman said in a statement. “When they first arrived and Mr. Marquez-Heraldes ran towards them with a knife, they ran behind a door without using deadly force. When more officers arrived and they realized they had a hostage situation, they tried to talk him into surrendering. It was only when they saw him stabbing the hostage that they opened fire in order to save a life.”