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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Bruce Gordon  651-201-7171
bruce.gordon@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 28, 2021
Officer, Subject Identified in Austin Officer Involved Shooting Incident

​​ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the officer who discharged his weapon during an incident on Dec. 23 in Austin. Officer Zachary Gast has been with the Austin Police Department for two years. He is on standard administrative leave.

The man who died during the incident was identified by the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office today as Kokou Christopher Fiafonou, 38, of Austin. Mr. Fiafonou died of homicide due to multiple gunshot wounds. A knife was recovered at the scene near Mr. Fiafonou’s body.

The Austin Police Department released information about t​​​he incident​​ on Dec. 24. The agency does not use body-worn cameras. Squad video captured portions of the incident.

The BCA’s investigation of the officer involved shooting is ongoing. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will provide its findings without recommendation to the Mower County Attorney’s Office for review.

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