Mekhi Camden Speed, 17, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder Tuesday in connection to a Jan. 10 homicide in St. Paul. The investigation frequently led police to Bolero Flats, an apartment building in Minneapolis where 22-year-old Amir Locke was shot and killed during a SWAT team raid last week.
The two young men are cousins, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County, which identifies Speed’s mother as a woman named Cheryl Locke.
The charges accuse Speed of shooting 38-year-old Otis Rodney Elder during what one witness described as a drug deal. Speed fled the scene of the Prior Avenue shooting with an unidentified accomplice in a silver Mercedes-Benz.
Investigators used CCTV footage to track the vehicle’s movements after it fled. It traveled from the scene of the murder to Bolero Flats.
Through speaking with witnesses and reviewing Speed’s probation records, officers were able to determine that Speed and his mother lived in apartment 1402. Speed’s brother and his brother’s girlfriend lived in apartment 701 and one of Speed’s friends frequented apartment 1403. It was for these three units that a judge authorized no-knock search warrants.
In the early morning hours of Feb. 2, a Minneapolis SWAT team executed the search warrants, starting with apartment 701, where Amir Locke was asleep on a couch. Speed’s brother and his girlfriend were also in the apartment at the time.
BREAKING: Minneapolis releases body-camera video from yesterday's police shooting of 22-year-old Amir Locke. (WARNING: Video is graphic.) pic.twitter.com/HBMItXLo5f
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) February 4, 2022
“Police and fire had been to the apartment on numerous occasions in the past. Mekhi Speed had been present in apartment 701 as recently as January 2022 during one of the calls,” the charges state.
Speed was not found in any of the three apartments on Feb. 2. Law enforcement officers located Speed on Feb. 6 in Winona, Minnesota. He attempted to run away when officers approached him and refused to speak with investigators after he was arrested.
The charges shed some additional light on the untimely passing of Amir Locke, whose death has reignited the debate over police reform in Minnesota. State Democrats proposed legislation Tuesday that would ban the use of no-knock warrants in Minnesota and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has put a moratorium on the practice.