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The father of a man shot and killed by an undercover officer near East Grand Forks, Minn., has sued the officer in federal court, alleging it was an unjustified use of deadly force while executing an arrest warrant.

The suit was filed Feb. 9 in U.S. District Court by Rodney Paul Romuld, the father of Lucas Gilbertson, 42, who was shot and killed in January. The suit names as the defendant Aeisso Schrage, an officer with the Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force who allegedly shot Gilbertson.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension continues to investigate the shooting. Romuld's attorney DeWayne Johnston said he has concerns about the investigation thus far and that he believed it made sense to sue before the investigation is complete.

"We felt that it was so egregious that the lawsuit would be properly started now," Johnston said Wednesday.

Through the East Grand Forks police, Schrage declined to comment on the lawsuit because the case is still under investigation by the BCA. Online court records do not show an attorney for him.

Just before noon on Jan. 9, members of the multicounty task force arrived at the home in the 19100 block of SW. 445th Avenue with a warrant to arrest Gilbertson, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The drug task force members surrounded the home in order to stop Gilbertson from escaping, the office said. The home belonged to Gilbertson's mother, Gail Gilbertson, according to the lawsuit.

At one point during the standoff, Gilbertson briefly came outside before retreating back inside. The undercover officer, who had not been named publicly before, later entered the home, according to the Sheriff's Office release. The officer encountered Gilbertson before deploying his Taser and firing his department handgun, striking Gilbertson multiple times, according to the BCA and Sheriff's Office.

Gilbertson was taken to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D., where he died.

The lawsuit says Gilbertson was unarmed when he was shot and that he threw his own gun out a window after breaking the glass earlier in the standoff.

The undercover officer who shot Gilbertson was not wearing a body camera, but other officers at the scene were. The footage, obtained by the Star Tribune, shows officers surround the house, with some sitting in a pickup truck beforehand, one commenting, "I hope he doesn't have a gun or anything."

Another video shows an officer talk with Gilbertson's mother at the front door as she denies that her son is home. Several officers later move to the back yard, with their guns drawn, one commenting that Gilbertson appeared to have a gun. The officers begin yelling from the back yard for Gilbertson to come out of the house. One officer comments about hearing glass breaking and that Gilbertson threw something out of it, before hearing the shots fired by the undercover officer.

The lawsuit alleges that Schrage violated Gilbertson's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and that it was unreasonable and excessive deadly force.

"Defendant Aeisso Schrage was reckless and deliberately indifferent to the health and safety of Lucas Paul Gilbertson, to the degree that it shocks the conscience," Romuld's attorney DeWayne Johnston wrote in the lawsuit.

The suit also claims Schrage violated Gilbertson's constitutional rights to due process and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

In the months leading up to the shooting, Gilbertson told his father multiple times that he feared Schrage and that the officer "wants me dead," the suit alleges. It added that Gilbertson knew Schrage from attending high school together in East Grand Forks. Johnston said he thinks there were personal motivations behind the shooting.

"It did definitely appear personal to some degree," he said.

Attorney David Thompson, who is assisting Johnston, added that the plaintiffs are concerned, accusing the BCA of having "no interest in following up" on the history between Schrage and Gilbertson. A BCA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegation.

The suit requests a money judgment against Schrage, compensatory and punitive monetary damages, reimbursement for attorney and lawsuit fees, and "legal and equitable relief as the court deems appropriate."

Court records show Gilbertson was the subject of numerous arrest warrants for missing hearings stemming from a felony theft case, and that he has a history of defying law enforcement. During one attempt in October to arrest Gilbertson at his home, he threw furniture at Polk County Sheriff James Tadman and escaped capture.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in July after he failed to appear for a court hearing concerning charges filed in June 2022 in Polk County District Court alleging a string of felonies involving thefts and burglary.

Gilbertson had been convicted three times for fleeing police along with other convictions for forgery, illegal weapons possession, illicit drugs, burglary and domestic assault.

A BCA spokesperson said the investigation remains "active and ongoing" as of Tuesday. The BCA did not release the name of the officer due to Minnesota law protecting the identities of undercover officers.

Star Tribune staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report.