Crime, Law and Justice

White Bear Lake officer shot 3 times by suspect who has history of mental illness

A White Bear Lake police officer remains hospitalized in stable condition after he was shot Tuesday while trying to serve an arrest warrant. Daniel L. Holmgren Jr., 33, is jailed on suspicion of attempted murder. Court records show that Holmgren had been civilly committed for severe mental illness at least five times in the last 15 years and had allegedly made previous threats to police.

In statements released Wednesday, police said that around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, officers went to a home on Karth Road near Interstate 694 and McKnight Road to arrest Holmgren in connection with a felony domestic violence case.

“As a result of the interaction between Holmgren and officers, a veteran officer from the White Bear Lake Police Department was shot three times in the midsection,” police said.

Officers eventually arrested Holmgren around 2 a.m. Wednesday. He’s being held in the Ramsey County Jail.

Police have not released key details about the incident, including the name of the officer who was injured or whether he or his colleagues fired their weapons.

The department said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which typically investigates critical police incidents, would handle further inquiries about the case. In a tweet early Wednesday, the BCA said only that it’s “responding to a use-of-force and officer shot incident in White Bear Lake.”

This was the second time in as many days that Minnesota law enforcement officers suffered gunshot wounds in the line of duty. Two McLeod County sheriff's deputies were shot while serving a warrant in Winsted on Monday.

In April 2022, a man firing a rifle in a neighborhood near Lake Owasso shot a Roseville police officer in the face. The officer survived his injuries, and other officers later shot and killed the suspect.

The case that eventually led to the confrontation in White Bear Lake dates back nearly two years.

According to the criminal complaint, Holmgren allegedly called his mother while she was at work on March 15, 2021 and threatened to kill her. After she got home, she called 911 after Holmgren shoved her out of their apartment. 

Prosecutors also allege that while Holmgren was in the back of a squad car that day, he repeatedly threatened to shoot an officer, “have him raped, and have his children assaulted.” Police recovered a knife from Holmgren’s pocket, and his mother handed officers a machete that she’d found in her son’s bedroom.

In May, Ramsey County Judge Timothy Mulrooney suspended proceedings in the case after finding that Holmgren was incompetent because of mental illness. However, Holmgren was required to appear at periodic hearings, and Mulrooney issued the arrest warrant after Holmgren failed to show up in court Jan 18.

Court records show that Holmgren has been civilly committed in Minnesota at least five times since 2008, most recently in January 2022, when he was hospitalized following a domestic disturbance at his sister’s home. 

Staff at United Hospital in St. Paul administered emergency medication to Holmgren because of his “violent and belligerent behavior,” including allegedly screaming at and attempting to head butt and bite staff members.

Psychiatrists diagnosed Holmgren with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and antisocial personality disorder and said he presents a danger to himself and others.

A physician determined that Holmgren “does not demonstrate awareness” of the reasons for his hospitalization and the consequences of refusing to take medication.

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