ST. PAUL – The University of North Dakota Forensic Pathology Center has confirmed the identity of a man police shot and killed on Jan. 9 while officers were attempting to serve a warrant in Polk County. Lucas Paul Gilbertson, 42, of rural East Grand Forks died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the forensic pathologist.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the officer who shot Gilbertson. According to the East Grand Forks police chief, the officer is a member of the Pine-to-Prairie Drug Task Force and works in an undercover capacity. The BCA is not releasing the officer’s name in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13.82, subdivision 17 (a).
• The officer deployed his Taser and fired his department handgun. He is on standard administrative leave.
According to the preliminary investigation, members of the Pine-to-Prairie Drug Task Force learned on Jan. 9 that Gilbertson, who was wanted on a warrant, was at a home in East Grand Forks. Just before noon, they went to the home to arrest him. The task force members surrounded the home to stop Gilbertson from escaping and at one point, the undercover East Grand Forks police officer entered the home and encountered Gilbertson. During that encounter, the officer deployed his Taser and fired his handgun at Gilbertson multiple times, striking him. Also during the encounter, Gilbertson broke a window and threw a handgun out of the home. Officers provided emergency care to Gilbertson until he could be taken to the hospital, where he later died. No one else was injured during this incident. BCA agents continue to investigate exactly how the incident inside the home unfolded.
Crime scene personnel found a handgun on the ground near the home. There is body-worn and squad camera video from this incident, but not of the shooting itself. The officer who used force was not wearing a body camera. BCA agents are reviewing all available video as part of their active investigation.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office asked the BCA to investigate this incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Polk County Attorney’s Office for review.