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Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
Jill Oliveira  651-793-2726
July 13, 2017
Subject, Officers Identified in Chisago County Officer Involved Shooting

​ST. PAUL — The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office today identified the person who died in an officer involved shooting incident on July 10 in Chisago County as Gregory Shawn Thrower, 39, of Kinston, North Carolina. Mr. Thrower died of multiple gunshot wounds.

In addition, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified law enforcement who fired their weapons during the incident. All are on standard administrative leave.

  • Deputy Scotty Finnegan has been with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office for 15 months.
  • Deputy Tom Hanson has been with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office for eight years.
  • Investigator Cliff Sheppeck has been with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years.
  • Sergeant Matt Beckman has been with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office for 19 years.
  • Sergeant Jason Foster has been with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years.
  • Sergeant Kyle Puelston has been with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years.
  • Trooper Travis Elmer has been with the Minnesota State Patrol for six years.

Chisago County deputies and North Branch officers responded to a 911 call of an armed carjacking of an individual on the 37000 block of Greenway Avenue in North Branch shortly before 8 a.m. Monday. The carjacker, now identified as Mr. Thrower, had his seven-year-old daughter with him at the time. No one was injured in the carjacking. Sheriff’s deputies and the Minnesota State Patrol were unable to locate the vehicle or Mr. Thrower at the time.

According to the BCA’s preliminary investigation, the vehicle communications service OnStar contacted the sheriff’s office just before 10 a.m., reporting that Mr. Thower contacted them from the carjacked vehicle. OnStar transferred Mr. Thrower to sheriff’s dispatch and during the conversation that ensued Mr. Thrower made suicidal threats. He also asked law enforcement to come to his location to pick up his daughter.

When officers approached the area – a bean field near the intersection of Goose Creek Road and 460th Street in rural Fish Lake Township near Harris – Mr. Thrower emerged from an area of tall reeds about 30 feet from the officers, pointing a handgun at them. All seven officers on the scene fired their weapons, fatally striking Mr. Thrower. Mr. Thrower’s daughter was inside the carjacked vehicle about 30 feet away. She was uninjured.

The BCA is investigating the officer involved shooting incident at the request of the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office. The North Branch Police Department is investigating the carjacking incident.

The officers were not wearing body cameras. There is no squad video of the shooting.

This remains an active and ongoing investigation. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings to the Chisago County Attorney’s Office for review.

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 Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

The BCA provides investigative and specialized law enforcement services to prevent and solve crimes in partnership with law enforcement, public safety and criminal justice agencies. Services include forensic laboratory analysis, criminal histories, investigations and criminal justice training.

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