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Deadly force deemed 'justified' in shooting

 

November 1, 2019



Following an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), a shooting by a Carlton County deputy while executing a warrant in July was deemed “necessary, justified and authorized by law” by the Carlton County attorney’s office, according to a press release sent out Tuesday.

On July 29, 2019, the Carlton County Consolidated Emergency Response Team (CERT) responded to the home of Shawn Olthoff’s mother in Moose Lake to execute a warrant for his arrest on charges alleging use of deadly force against a peace officer stemming from an incident two days prior in which Olthoff pointed a gun at an officer during a traffic stop and fled on foot. During the execution of the warrant, the CERT team entered the home, deploying a flash bang. Carlton County deputy sheriff Sgt. Warnygora made observations indicating to him that he and his teammates were about to take gunfire. He fired two shots, striking Olthoff. Lifesaving measures were immediately employed. Olthoff sustained nonfatal permanent injuries. Numerous law enforcement agencies provided assistance at the scene.

Per BCA protocol, the file was submitted to Carlton County attorney Lauri Ketola to determine whether the actions of a law enforcement officer were justified and therefore legal under Minnesota Statute Section 609.066. In light of the close working relationship with local law enforcement, Ketola had the matter independently reviewed by retired St. Louis County prosecutor Vern Swanum.

Both county attorney Ketola and attorney Swanum concluded that the use of deadly force by Sergeant Wornygora was necessary, justified and authorized under the law.

Warnygora has been with the Carlton County sheriff’s office for 14 years and was on standard administrative leave while the BCA investigation was ongoing.

 
 

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