UPDATE -- 5/6/2021
The Southern Minnesota Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man who died during a shooting incident May 5, 2021, in Rochester. Michael Charles Apicella, 63, of Black River Falls, Wisc., died of suicide due to two self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head.
An investigation of the incident is being conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Rochester Police Department.
ST. PAUL — An investigation is underway following a shooting incident that occurred during a commercial vehicle traffic stop at the Miracle Mile shopping center parking lot in Rochester this morning.
Three troopers assigned to the Minnesota State Patrol Commercial Vehicle unit stopped a semitruck for a vehicle inspection around 6:45 a.m. Troopers attempted to detain the semitruck driver for failing to produce identification around 8:30 a.m. According to the preliminary investigation, the driver took out a gun and fired two rounds, both of which were self-inflicted shots to the head.
The truck driver was transported to St. Mary’s hospital with life-threatening injuries and was later pronounced deceased.
No troopers fired their weapons, and no troopers were injured.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the Rochester Police Department are leading the investigation.
The State Patrol Commercial Vehicle Section is comprised of civilian commercial vehicle inspectors and state troopers working in cooperation to conduct commercial vehicle safety inspections
at highway weigh stations and roadside locations throughout the state.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Minnesota State Patrol
Nearly 600 Minnesota State Patrol troopers are the foundation of the agency that works to provide a safe environment on Minnesota’s roads by assisting motorists, taking enforcement action and educating drivers about traffic safety issues. In addition to road safety activities, troopers conduct flight patrols, search and rescue missions and assist other law enforcement agencies.
In 1929, the Minnesota Legislature created the Highway Patrol after lawmakers recognized the need for a traffic enforcement agency in response to the boom of automobiles. The first patrol force comprised 35 men. In 1970, the Highway Patrol became a division of the Department of Public Safety and, four years later, its official name was changed to the Minnesota State Patrol.