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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Jill Oliveira  651-793-2726
jill.oliveira@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2017
Officers and Subject Identified in Willmar Officer Involved Shooting

​ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified two officers who discharged their weapons during an officer involved shooting incident that took place on Sunday, July 23, in Willmar, Minn. Both officers are on standard administrative leave.

Officer Marco Vazquez has been with the Willmar Police Department for three years.

Officer Anthony Haycraft has been with the Willmar Police Department for one year. Officer Haycraft has also worked for Lower Sioux Tribal Law Enforcement Services for the past two years.

The man injured during the incident also has been identified. Matthew David Smith, 46, of 410 11th Street NW in Willmar, remains hospitalized at St. Cloud Hospital.

The two officers responded to a 911 call around 5:30 p.m. Sunday about a suicidal male at a home on the 400 block of 11th Street NW in Willmar. When the officers arrived, they encountered the male, now identified as Smith, in the backyard of the property holding a gun. At one point during the encounter, both officers fired their weapons, injuring Smith.

Smith was treated at the scene, taken by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, and later by medical helicopter to St. Cloud Hospital.

BCA agents have interviewed both officers and are awaiting the opportunity to interview Smith. The BCA will release more information about the incident once the interview is completed.

No one else was hurt during the incident.

The police department does not use body cameras. Their squad camera did not capture the incident.

The BCA is investigating the shooting at the request of the Willmar Police Department. The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol provided assistance at the scene. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will turns its findings over to the Kandiyohi County Attorney’s Office for review.

The BCA conducts officer involved shooting investigations the same way it does other conflict investigations. BCA agents interview witnesses and the people involved in the incident; collect, analyze and review evidence; and conduct follow-up interviews as needed to ultimately find all of the facts of a case.

The agency involved in the incident has no input regarding the investigative direction of the case. As an independent fact finder, the BCA does not decide or determine the outcome of a case. As it does in all investigations, the BCA will present its findings without recommendations to a county attorney for review.

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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov