A man who fired at officers was shot and killed by a Dakota County deputy after the officers arrived at a Lakeville home to serve an emergency order for protection Friday morning.
The victim, a 36-year-old man, appeared with a gun within seconds of the officers entering the residence at 11:40 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. After he was shot, police tried to perform lifesaving measures, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were injured.
The man was known to police, a news release said, and had an active warrant for fourth-degree assault on a police officer. The order for protection also included a demand that he vacate the home.
It’s the first fatal officer-involved shooting of 2020 in Minnesota. According to a Star Tribune database, there were 14 fatal police encounters last year.
Emergency dispatch audio captured the immediate aftermath of the shooting at the home, a yellow rambler in the 20800 block of Italy Avenue.
“Shots fired, shots fired!” an officer radioed. “Bad guy down, good guy good! Bad guy down, good guy good!”
“Suspect is down, start an ambulance, all the officers are OK,” another officer radioed, adding that the rest of the home was clear.
The shooting occurred in a quiet neighborhood about 4 miles east of I-35 near Lakeville High School.
Streets were blocked off in every direction leading to the home Friday afternoon, while police cars and reporters flooded the streets.
Cindy Erickson likes to keep an eye on her neighborhood, so when she saw four police and sheriff’s squad cars pull up across the street Friday afternoon, she walked outside to investigate. She saw officers approach a house, she said, and heard them announce who they were. Then a man’s voice said, “Get out of my house!”
Gunfire erupted next — two shots for certain. “It happened so fast,” Erickson said.
Erickson recalled a man at the home, who lived with his parents, as being congenial.
“Am I surprised that it happened? No,” she said. Reconsidering, she said the shooting surprised her, but not the police presence.
“It is unreal,” she said. “ I feel sad — sad for the family.”
Public records show that a 36-year-old man listed the home as his address, along with a 62-year-old woman. His criminal convictions are limited to mostly traffic offenses.
“Law enforcement officers place their lives in danger every day to protect the public and enforce the law. In this situation the subject could have taken the lives of deputies, officers or the public with his decision to open fire,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Absent the actions of the deputy, others could have been injured or killed. We are fortunate that all deputies and officers were physically unharmed.”
The officers involved were placed on standard paid administrative leave, and more information could come early next week, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Jeff Agan, who lives nearby, said he occasionally saw the man who he believes was shot and never had trouble with him.
“I grew up here my whole life. This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Agan said.
He was returning from a store earlier and ended up following the ambulance as it went to the site of the shooting, he said.
“I showed up literally right after it happened,” he said, adding that the neighborhood is low-key and safe.
Christin Dougherty lives across the street. She says she knew the man in the yellow house as someone who liked dogs — he had two different Labradors over the years.
She said she doesn’t remember police visits in the eight years she’s lived there.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will lead an investigation into the incident.
Erin Adler • 612-673-1781