A longtime criminal has pleaded guilty to shooting in the head and nearly killing a southern Minnesota police officer early this year.
Tyler R. Janovsky, 37, entered his plea late last week in Waseca County District Court in connection with the shooting during a foot chase with Waseca officer Arik Matson.
Janovsky, who also shot at two officers with Matson, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree murder involving a police officer.
Dismissed were one count of first-degree attempted murder and another of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 18 before Judge Christine Long.
Janovsky remains held in Oak Park Heights prison for a burglary conviction out of Otter Tail County. His criminal record also includes convictions for drug crimes, terroristic threats and accessory to murder. At the time of Matson's shooting, Janovsky was wanted on charges involving methamphetamine production.
Matson, 32, was shot on Jan. 6 as he and the other officers responded to a call about a suspicious person in a neighborhood. A search warrant affidavit filed in the case against Janovsky read that he "had discussed his desire and intent to commit 'suicide by cop.' "
Marking six months since Matson was shot, a progress report posted by his wife, Megan, on a GoFundMe page said that "Arik has slowly but surely struggled and put up a fight to regain his daily capabilities back that we all take for granted. … He is able to walk on his own at times for short distances (never alone). But often finds himself needing the help of an assistant more than not.
"Arik's memory is all there. His appetite is back. He is able to write letters back and forth with his [two] daughters weekly."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482