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Friends Seek Answers After Minnetonka Police Kill Man

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNETONKA, Minn. (WCCO) – Friends and family of a man shot and killed by Minnetonka Police last month say they are still waiting for answers.

Police shot 27-year-old Michael Tray several times on Oct. 23. They were called to Claremont Apartments around 8:30 p.m. after someone said they saw a man walking around with a gun.

Police confronted Tray in the underground parking garage, where he was shot and killed.

Michael Strunk met him five years ago in college. Like so many other people, Michael hit off with the man simply known as “Tray.”

“Even if he was in a bad mood himself, he made sure to put on a good front to kind of lift up other spirits,” Strunk said. “He didn’t make a lot of money working when he was in college, but…he was buying his friends drinks, you know, paying for whatever he could. Very selfless guy.”

And that’s why what happened to Tray doesn’t make sense to Strunk. According to Tray’s stepfather, he had just graduated from college and had been trying to fix up his late father’s house in Iowa.

He had found an old .44 Magnum revolver inside the home, and after several attempted burglaries in the area, he said his stepson didn’t want to leave the gun there while he visited his girlfriend in Minnetonka.

“He’s not a violent guy whatsoever,” Strunk said.

He clearly remembers getting the bad news. He says Tray had talked to his friend Rob just an hour before he was shot.

“He said ‘Oh I can’t wait to come up,’ and he talked with Rob’s girlfriend Ashley…joked about making pancakes,” he said. “So it was a very light-hearted conversation talking to Rob because he was excited to see him.”

But that never happened. At Tray’s funeral, friends played a 14-minute video honoring the 27 year old.

And while Michael remembers the good times, what he wants now are answers.

“What’s happened, and the fact that we had no answers, is not okay. And that’s kind of what kills us all,” he said.

Authorities identified the two officers involved in the shooting as James Comings and Ryan Smith. Both joined the Minnetonka Police Department last year, and neither have had any complaints against them or any disciplinary action.

Police said the case is still under investigation by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and they have no comment at this time.

Michael Tray did not have a criminal history.

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