UPDATE -- The Ramsey County Medical Examiner has identified the man who died as the result of an officer involved shooting incident on Wednesday in St. James, Minn. Gilberto NMN Salas, 20, of Gaylord, died of multiple gunshot wounds.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension continues to interview people who saw or took part in the incident. We expect to release the officers’ names and additional details at some point tomorrow when the first round of interviews is completed.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating an officer involved shooting incident that happened Wednesday afternoon in the Watonwan County city of St. James.
Nicollet County sheriff’s deputies late Wednesday morning spotted a vehicle in LaFayette that earlier in the day had been reported stolen in New Ulm. A pursuit ensued that included deputies with the Nicollet, Blue Earth and Brown County sheriff’s departments, the New Ulm and North Mankato police departments and the Minnesota State Patrol. Eventually the male driver was identified and the pursuit called off for safety reasons.
Approximately a half hour later, the vehicle was spotted in St. James. Officers followed the vehicle until the man drove into a snow bank where the vehicle became disabled. The man then fled on foot into a business on the 600 block of 2nd Avenue South in St. James where he hid alone in an office.
Law enforcement from the St. James Police Department, the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Department and the Minnesota State Patrol entered the business. At one point, several officers deployed multiple Taser rounds. Later, another officer discharged their firearm, striking the male subject. He was taken by ambulance to the Mayo Clinic Health System hospital in St. James, where he was pronounced deceased. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy and make formal identification.
One of the officers sustained a non-life threatening injury and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where they were treated and released.
BCA crime scene personnel are collecting evidence at the scene and interviews with incident participants and witnesses are underway. Investigators recovered a knife at the scene.
The BCA is in the very early stages of its investigation. None of the officers were wearing body cameras and there is no dash camera footage of the shooting incident. The officer who discharged their weapon is on standard administrative leave.
The BCA will provide additional information, including the names of the deceased and the officers who discharged their weapons, once family notifications have been made and initial interviews are complete.
The BCA is conducting the investigation at the request of the St. James Police Department. When the BCA’s investigation is complete, the BCA will turn its findings over to the Watonwon County Attorney’s Office for review.