Suspect in custody after shooting officer in Albert Lea; body found while evacuating apartment building

KSTP
Updated: November 29, 2020 10:20 PM
Created: November 29, 2020 07:41 AM

A 21-year-old man has been taken into custody after a police officer was shot and two other men were injured early Sunday morning in Albert Lea.

According to Albert Lea Police Department, at 2:18 a.m., the Albert Lea Police Department responded to a report of a possible noise complaint or weapons violation. It was reported that fireworks or gunshots were heard in the area of an apartment building at 800 S. Fourth Avenue. 

As an officer was arriving at the Shady Oaks apartment building, Devin Weiland, 21, of Albert Lea shot at the officer multiple times, two shots impacting the squad vehicle and one-shot impacting the officer. According to the police department, the officer was able to relocate to a safe zone, assess possible injuries and drive directly to the ER. 

Additional officers responded and established a perimeter. SCDIU SWAT was also activated along with supporting SWAT Teams (Mankato & Austin). At one point, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper shot at Weiland.

Weiland surrendered to law enforcement and was taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening shrapnel injuries, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release. It is unknown whether he was shot. The state trooper who discharged their firearm is on standard administrative leave.

Two bystanders were also shot. A 52-year-old man and a 38-year-old man were both airlifted to Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester. The officer who was shot had an injury to the chest but was treated and released later on.

While clearing the apartment building to collect evidence, a tactical team found the body of a deceased person unrelated to the standoff between the suspect and law enforcement. The remains were taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office to determine the person's identity and the cause and manner of death.

During the morning a shelter-in-place was activated but was lifted around 11 a.m.

Most residents in the apartment building who were evacuated so investigators could process the crime scene have already returned to their homes, the BCA said. All other residents will have hotel accommodations for the night.

Gov. Tim Walz issued the following statement regarding the shooting in Albert Lea:

"Our thoughts are with the Minnesotans who were hurt in the shooting in Albert Lea this morning.

"Thank you to the law enforcement officers, including both local teams and our State Patrol troopers and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents, who worked to keep Albert Lea residents safe from further harm. This situation could have been significantly worse, but the suspect is now in custody.

"We know that one Albert Lea police officer was injured today, and the First Lady and I wish them a quick recovery. Thank you for your bravery and service." 

This is a developing news story. KSTP is working to get more details on this story and will post updates as more information becomes available.


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