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Minneapolis Swat Team Raids Wrong Home

By Pamela Jean     Dec 18, 2007 in Crime
Acting on the lead of an informant, and in search of an African-American gang member and a cache of weapons, 30 Minneapolis swat team members bust down the door of a home at 12:46 am Sunday. It was occupied by a family of 8 Hmong, 6 of which were children
Minneapolis police told reporters they did nothing wrong and had done their groundwork before 30 swat team members gathered outside the home of Vang Khang in the 1300 block of Logan Avenue North.
The swat team, armed with a search warrant issued by a Hennepin county judge, surrounded the home reportedly in search of gang members and contraband. Neighbors report hearing 20 to 30 shots being fired as the swarm of police busted in the front door, breaking glass and storming the building.
Khang's wife Yee Moua told reporters she had been on the main level of the two story home when she heard voices and loud noises coming from outside. She quickly ran upstairs to alert her husband. Within seconds gunfire erupted as the swat team invaded the home, climbing the stairs and firing off shots in response to the 3 shots homeowner Vang Khang aimed at the closed bedroom door. He hit three officers, none of which were injured due to the fact they were wearing protective gear, before his son in another room was able to shout to his father that the intruders were police officers. Khang indicates he quickly dropped his shotgun and raised his arms in the air in surrender.
"He heard footsteps, and he thought it was bad guys, when police come inside, they don't say anything," said Dao Khang, the homeowner's brother.
They have six children, ranging in age from 6 to 15, and Vang's response was an instinctual attempt to protect his family from the unknown assailants. Relatives told reporters that some of the children witnessed the officers firing their weapons and are understandably shaken up.
Police indicate that they did announce that they were officers before entering the home, but apparently that announcement was unheard by the family residing inside.
Officers now state that it is not their fault that they broke into the wrong home, blaming their "informant" for providing false information.
I don't think it was a mistake on our part, you know, we did everything correctly. We did everything in good faith, we followed the search warrant, we did everything correctly. It turns out some of the information that was given on the front end from the informant, just wasn't right," said Jesse Garcia, a Minneapolis Police spokesman. Garcia said after the informant gave police three addresses they did their homework. "Like I said, this is a long-term investigation that involved surveillance, looking at background of this whole situation to find out exactly what's going on," said Garcia.
The family is now staying with relatives, and the evening news showed pictures of the numerous bullet holes that now riddle the home, as well as the broken screen door and numerous shattered windows.
"The whole family is badly shaken and still trying to understand what happened," Moua said. She and Khang showed reporters five broken windows and 22 bullet holes.
Seven officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation underway to determine if there was any wrongdoing on the part of the police in this case.
Neighbors said they did hear police identify themselves, but after they broke down the door. They're surprised police would have any reason to raid the Khang home.
"Nothing suspicious, they're a normal family. It could happen to us, to me," said neighbor Gene Hayes.
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