The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating a fatal officer involved shooting that happened Wednesday in St. James.
Nicollet County sheriff’s deputies late Wednesday morning spotted a vehicle in LaFayette that earlier in the day had been reported stolen in New Ulm. A pursuit ensued that included deputies with the Nicollet, Blue Earth and Brown County sheriff’s departments, the New Ulm and North Mankato police departments and the Minnesota State Patrol. Eventually the male driver was identified and the pursuit called off for safety reasons.
Approximately a half hour later, the vehicle was spotted in St. James. Officers followed the vehicle until the man drove into a snow bank where the vehicle became disabled. The man then fled on foot into the Casey’s gas station in St. James where he hid alone in an office.
Law enforcement from the St. James Police Department, the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Department and the Minnesota State Patrol entered the business. At one point, several officers deployed multiple Taser rounds. Later, another officer discharged their firearm, striking the male subject. He was taken by ambulance to the Mayo Clinic Health System hospital in St. James, where he was pronounced deceased. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy and make formal identification.
One of the officers sustained a non-life threatening injury and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where they were treated and released.
BCA crime scene personnel are collecting evidence at the scene and interviews with incident participants and witnesses are underway. Investigators recovered a knife at the scene.
The BCA is in the very early stages of its investigation. None of the officers were wearing body cameras and there is no dash camera footage of the shooting incident. The officer who discharged their weapon is on standard administrative leave.
When the BCA’s investigation is complete, the BCA will turn its findings over to the Watonwon County Attorney’s Office for review.