White Bear Lake man charged with attempted murder, assault after officer shot
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A White Bear Lake man has been formally charged after an officer was shot multiple times while trying to serve an arrest warrant earlier this week.
Thursday, prosecutors charged 33-year-old Daniel Loren Holmgren Jr. with attempted first-degree murder and four counts of first-degree assault.
It comes after officers on Tuesday went to Holmgren’s home in the 3100 block of Karth Road and tried to arrest him on a warrant for a felony domestic assault charge. Court documents state that Holmgren had missed his court appearance in the domestic assault case and officers were there to arrest him.
However, according to a criminal complaint, Holmgren stayed in his bedroom with the door closed, was hostile toward officers and threatened to shoot them. A family member was also there, telling Holmgren why the officers were there but he remained upset and refused to come out, adding that he was “ready to die.”
Then, charging documents state Holmgren fired a gun multiple times from his bedroom door, hitting one of the officers in the leg, stomach and pelvis, forcing the officers to retreat and prompting a standoff.
The injured officer, who hasn’t yet been publicly identified, underwent surgery and was in stable condition Thursday.
The ensuing standoff lasted several hours and Holmgren continued to threaten officers, the complaint states. The apartment was also evacuated, forcing some residents to take shelter inside a bus while others found other places to go. Authorities later utilized a robot and threw tear gas into the apartment. At around 2 a.m., Holmgren came outside and was arrested.
Court documents state that officers recovered a 9 mm gun from the bathroom next to Holmgren’s bedroom. While the magazine was empty, a live round remained in the chamber.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is leading the investigation. The complaint notes that BCA agents tried to talk to Holmgren but he called them “monkeys” and called an attorney.
Holmgren’s mother told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS her son has struggled with mental health for years and family members have had trouble getting him help.
“My heart broke, my heart broke,” Vicki Galicia, Holmgren’s mother, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS about the moment she saw the officer shot by Holmgren.
“Not to excuse his behavior, because that officer didn’t deserve that, absolutely not, we have a big respect for the police department,” Crystal Dunaski, Holmgren’s sister, added.
The family also said the shooting didn’t need to happen, as he’s been on civil commitment for the past two years. However, in the spring, he was released from a treatment facility.
“They released him because there was no room in the hospital, that was back in March, they said, ‘Can you come get him?'” Dunaski said.
“We talk about awareness but there’s no beds, there’s no help,” Galicia added.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said their situation isn’t unusual, adding that “dozens of families” are in the same situation, “begging for help.”
“You shouldn’t have to shoot a police officer to finally get help from the state of Minnesota, regarding mental health,” Fletcher said.
Holmgren’s first court appearance is scheduled for Friday morning. The attempted murder charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and the assault charges each carry up to 30 years and a $40,000 fine.