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Hennepin County Sheriff Completes Claremont Police Shooting Investigation

The Oct. 23 incident resulted in the death of 27-year-old Michael Tray.

Michael Tray
Michael Tray

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has concluded their investigation of the Oct. 23 officer-involved shooting at Claremont Apartments, and all information has been turned over to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

The incident resulted in the death of Michael Regner Tray, 27, of Austin, MN. Tray died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds. 

"We are following our standard procedure for police-involved fatal shootings, which means we are doing some follow-up investigation and then, at some point this year, we will present the case to a grand jury for review for possible charges," said Chuck Laszewski, spokesman for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

All police shootings should be presented to the grand jury for independent, external review to remind citizens that law enforcement does not believe its incidents are above citizen review, according to an article in Police Chief Magazine

"This practice will allow citizens to review the incident and determine whether further investigation should be conducted, or whether the shooting was justified," the article continued.

When officers arrived at the apartments on a report of a person with a gun, they encountered Tray with a gun in the underground garage, and shots were fired, according to Minnetonka Police. 

The Minnetonka Police officers involved were Officer James Comings and Officer Ryan Smith. Comings was hired by the Minnetonka Police Department in April of 2012, and Smith was hired by the Minnetonka Police Department in June of 2012.

Neither officer has had any citizen complaints or disciplinary action with the Minnetonka Police Department, according to the city.

The process is taking some time because grand juries have to be called; they don't sit all year round. So to be efficient, they usually are not called until there are several cases to be heard, according to Laszewski.

This situation is unlike when a person is in custody and has to be charged within 36 hours. Because the officers were not arrested, there is no deadline.

Laszewski said it is common for six to nine months to pass between the time of the incident and the time of the grand jury hearing in a police-involved shooting. 

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