Investigators looking at St. Louis Park OIS seek access to cell phones

Investigators looking at St. Louis Park OIS seek access to cell phones Photo: KSTP

February 04, 2019 06:00 PM

Investigators with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office have filed an application for a search warrant, seeking access to the cellphone of a 35-year-old Anoka man fatally shot by a St. Louis Park police officer on Jan. 19.

The shooting occurred at an apartment building on the 2700 block of Louisiana Court. The man killed was identified as Matthew Neil Tuhkanen.

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Court records indicate Tuhkanen had prior warrants in Anoka County for trespassing, assault and disorderly conduct.

RELATED: Man killed in St. Louis Park officer-involved shooting had prior warrants

The city identified the officer as Samuel Heffernan. According to a release, he has been placed on administrative leave. 

Heffernan has been with the department for three years. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is investigating the matter.

The warrant application also seeks access to a cell phone from the other resident of the apartment. That person voluntarily provided their cell phone to authorities. Seach warrant applications also sought access to the cell phones of the officers involved. 

RELATED: Officer involved in fatal St. Louis Park shooting identified

The search warrant application states officers were first dispatched to the apartment around 5:03 p.m. following a report of a domestic dispute. Officers were aware that Tuhkanen had two outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants and a "history of violent behavior, mental illness and fleeing from police."

According to the warrant, when officers arrived, Tuhkanen fled the apartment to another location in the complex and officers cleared the address without contacting him.

But less than an hour later, another 911 call was received reporting a domestic disturbance in progress at the residence.

This time, officers were granted access into the unit by the other tenant there. The warrant application states officers found Tuhkanen inside a bedroom and informed him he was under arrest.

"At some point SLPPD officers advised dispatch that Tuhkanen was non-compliant," the warrant application reads. "At approximately 1816 hours (6:16 p.m.), SLPPD officers aired "shots fired" over the radio to dispatch and requested emergency medical services to respond to the address. Your affiant later learned that one SLPPD officer fired their service weapon inside the unit during the encounter with Tuhkanen.

The warrant application said the investigator has learned Tuhkanen called a relative on his cell phone minutes before officers arrived, and that the other resident of the apartment had been communicating with him by text message throughout the day.

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Frank Rajkowski

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