BCA identifies Cyrus man, injured officers from deadly Pope County shooting

Suspect identified in Pope Co. deputy’s death

Suspect identified in Pope Co. deputy's death

Four days after the shooting that left a Pope County deputy and another man dead and two officers hurt, authorities have released more information on the incident.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) says 34-year-old Bryan Nygard, from Cyrus, was the man who died after an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement.

Also killed in the shooting was Pope County Deputy Josh Owen, a 14-year veteran. The BCA says Owen was hit three times during the exchange of gunfire, and he also fired his gun.

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Additionally, the agency identified the officers who were hurt as Deputy Brody Merrill, who has four years of law enforcement experience, and Starbuck Officer Alex Olson.

Merrill, who also fired his weapon, is now on standard administrative leave. The BCA says he was hit once in the upper chest in his vest. Olson was hit in the ankle but didn’t fire his weapon.

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The BCA says Olson responded to a domestic violence call at an apartment in Cyrus at around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and Owen and Merrill responded after him. When they arrived, the officers went inside the home and talked to Nygard and a woman and, after some initial investigation, officers told Nygard that he was under arrest.

It was at that time that Nygard, who was sitting at a table, stood up, pulled out a gun and started firing, the BCA says. The agency says Olson was in the hallway at the time the exchange of gunfire started.

Owen was taken to a hospital, where he later died; Nygard died at the scene; Merrill was also taken to a hospital for treatment but was later released, while Olson wasn’t hospitalized.

The BCA also says the woman living with Nygard left the apartment before the shooting and wasn’t hurt.

BCA agents recovered a pistol, bullets and cartridge casings at the scene, the agency says. All three officers also had body cameras, which are being reviewed by the BCA. That video is expected to be released to the public when the investigation is closed and fully adjudicated.

The investigation remains active.