State investigators say the southern Minnesota sheriff's deputy who shot an unarmed man dressed only in swimming trunks is a 10-year law enforcement veteran.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says 37-year-old Todd Waldron was in an unmarked vehicle and wearing plain clothes when he shot 24-year-old Tyler Heilman on Monday in the Le Sueur County community of Kasota.
According to the initial investigation, Waldron spotted a vehicle speeding and driving erratically on a city street in Kasota at about 3:30 p.m. Monday. Waldron called dispatch to request assistance from a marked squad car. He then followed the car as it went off the road and up a steep embankment before coming to a halt in an apartment complex parking lot, investigators say.
Waldron approached Heilman, who had exited the vehicle, and a verbal altercation ensued between Waldron, Heilman, and a man who had been in the car with Heilman, investigators say. Waldron tried to arrest Heilman, but he allegedly resisted. A physical altercation then took place.
During the confrontation, investigators say that Waldron fired four shots. Heilman died at the scene. Waldron sustained minor injuries. Heilman did not have a weapon, according to investigators.
"These are difficult cases," said Andy Skoogman, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety. "They're complicated cases and they can be emotional for relatives. We're simply urging the whole community to withhold passing judgment until all the facts are in and our investigation is complete."
Waldron was promoted to investigator in 2004, and has no previous disciplinary actions, Skoogman said. Waldron is on standard paid leave during the investigation, which is expected to take 6-8 weeks.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)