Crime, Law and Justice

5 law enforcement officers shot, wounded in central Minnesota

Suspect in custody following hourslong standoff

A Benton County sheriff establishes a security perimeter
A Benton County sheriff's deputy establishes a security perimeter at the intersection of 186th Avenue NE and Glendorado Road NE near Princeton, Minn., following a “critical incident” that resulted in the shooting of five law enforcement officers Thursday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Updated 3:33 p.m.

Five law enforcement officers were shot and wounded Thursday morning in Benton County in central Minnesota as they tried to serve a search warrant at a home in Glendorado Township, west of Princeton.

The five are members of the Sherburne County Drug Task Force who were shot after being confronted by a suspect, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

All five are expected to survive. Two were shot in their protective vests; the other three continue to be treated for gunshot wounds, Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck said during a late afternoon press conference Thursday.

Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck speaks during a press conference
Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck speaks during a press conference at the Benton County Courthouse after five law enforcement officers were shot in Glendorado Township Thursday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

The suspect was arrested following an hourslong standoff. He was taken to the hospital but the cause and extent of his injuries haven't been released. Authorities indicated there is officer body camera and squad video of the incident.

“This has been a difficult day for all of us in Benton County,” Heck said as he praised the work of officers as well as the negotiators who helped end the standoff.

The incident began just after 7 a.m. as members of the drug task force tried to serve a warrant at a home in Glendorado Township, roughly an hour’s drive northwest of Minneapolis, in the area of 190th Avenue Northeast and Glendorado Road NE.

The task force included three members of the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, one from the Princeton Police Department and another from the Elk River Police Department.

Task force members “announced their arrival multiple times before entering the home,” Heck said, adding they came under fire, returned fire and retreated from the home.

Heck declined to provide details of the warrant and said he could not provide the names of the injured officers because they had been working undercover.

Deputies from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office were present at the incident but were not injured, Heck’s office said.

MPR News typically does not name suspects until they are charged with a crime. Heck disclosed the name of the man arrested and said law enforcement had past interactions with him.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating, which is common in incidents involving officers and gunfire.

Investigators are still working to process the scene and determine who fired and when and what weapons were used, said Michelle Frascone, the BCA special agent in charge of the probe. Her office, she added, will be reviewing body worn camera footage of the incident along with squad car and other video.

Including the officers wounded in Thursday’s incident, at least 14 law enforcement officers have been shot — four fatally — in rural Minnesota and western Wisconsin in 2023.

The prior incidents included:

  • On Jan. 23, two McLeod County sheriff’s deputies were wounded by gunfire while serving a warrant in the city of Winsted, Minn.

  • On April 8, two western Wisconsin police officers — Cameron officer Hunter Scheel, 23, and Chetek officer Emily Breidenbach, 32 — were fatally shot during a traffic stop in Barron County.

  • On April 10, a police officer was shot and wounded while serving a search warrant in Granite Falls, Minn.

  • On April 15, Pope County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Owen, 44, was fatally shot while responding to a domestic violence call at a home in Cyrus, Minn. Another deputy and a police officer were wounded.

  • On May 6, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Deputy Kaitie Leising, 29, was fatally shot while responding to a call about a potential drunk driver in a ditch near Glenwood City, Wis.

In July, Fargo, N.D., police officer Jake Wallin died from his wounds after being shot as officers came to the scene of a traffic accident. Two other officers were also shot. The suspected gunman, who was shot and killed by other officers, had no known connection to the accident.