Joseph Steiner named as officer who shot New Brighton drug suspect Matthew Vanhofwegen
The state agency investigatinga police shooting in New Brighton
has released the name of the officer and the suspect involved, but has provided few details of what went down.
For instance, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a division of the MN Department of Public Safety, is not saying why the suspect was shot multiple times from a single rifle.
Matthew Lloyd Vanhofwegen, 45, is being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center. He and Officer Joseph Steiner, an eight-year veteran of the Maplewood police department, got into a struggle in the hallway of Vanhofwegen's home Tuesday during an alleged drug raid.
Jill Oliveira, a spokeswoman for BCA, declined to give a detailed version of events, explaining, "The full scope of what we can say about (the incident) is in the release."
According to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, Vanhofwegen spotted members of the Ramsey County Violent Crime Enforcement Team approaching his home, around 2 p.m. Tuesday, and went inside. Officers announced they had a warrant but he refused to open the door. Eventually they forced it open.
"Officers encountered Vanhofwegen in a front hall, where he allegedly grabbed the barrel of Maplewood Police Officer Joseph Steiner's rifle," the release said. "A struggle ensued and Officer Steiner shot Vanhofwegen."
Steiner has been placed on a standard administrative leave. Four other officers had entered the home and others responded after the shooting, Oliveira said.
The county task force is composed of officers from the St. Paul, Roseville, Maplewood, White Bear Lake, and New Brighton police departments as well as deputies from the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.
Oliveira directed questions related to the search warrant -- including what exactly the task force expected to find in Vanhofwegen's home -- to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.
Randy Gustafson, a sheriff spokesman, said he couldn't comment on the drug investigation until the search warrant makes it to his desk. He had no immediate information about Vanhofwegen's criminal history.
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