Minnesota BCA Provides More Details in Fatal Duluth Standoff

Standoff

DULUTH, Minn. – On Tuesday, The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension provided more updates on the nearly 20-hour standoff that took place last week in Duluth including the identities of law enforcement personnel who used force in the incident.

According to the Minnesota BCA, Duluth police officers responded to a call from a third party about a possible physical domestic situation at an apartment on the 2300 block of West 4th Street Thursday evening.

Officers that arrived on the scene spoke with the female occupant inside the apartment and could not determine if an assault had taken place.

During the encounter with the female occupant, officers determined that the male in the apartment, identified later as David Conwell, had felony warrants.

Officers then entered the apartment with K9 Luna to locate Conwell and take him into custody.

According to the BCA, officers located Conwell hiding in a bedroom closet in the apartment at which time Conwell produced a shotgun and shot at the officers fatally striking K9 Luna.

Officers returned fire as they retreated from the apartment.

The BCA says there is no indication that Conwell was struck by the exchange of gunfire at this time.

Duluth’s Tactical Response Team was then dispatched to the scene and a standoff began.

According to the BCA report, over the next several hours, TRT members attempted multiple means of communication with Conwell and deployed chemical irritants multiple times to try to force him out of the apartment.

Around 3:00 a.m. Friday, TRT members entered the apartment at which time Conwell emerged from a closet and began shooting at them.

Officers returned fire and again retreated out of the apartment. There is no indication that Conwell was struck by the gunfire.

After 10 hours, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team relieved the Duluth TRT at the scene.

Around 4:00 p.m. ERT members entered the apartment building to remove a section of the exterior wall that led to the second-floor closet they believed Conwell to be hiding in.

Conwell jumped through the hole onto the porch and pointed his gun at the deputies.

Two deputies fired their rifles and two other deputies fired less-lethal rounds, striking Conwell, the BCA reports.

Medical aid was provided to Conwell, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

No one else was injured during the exchange.

All four Duluth police officers that fired their weapons during the standoff are on standard administrative leave.

Two St. Louis County Sheriff’s officers are also on standard leave for firing their shotguns. Two other St. Louis County Sheriff’s officers that used force during the standoff are not on leave because they used less-lethal rounds.

BCA crime scene personnel recovered a gun at the scene and portions of the incident were caught on Duluth Police Department body cameras.

This is an active and ongoing investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will provide its findings without recommendation to the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office for review.

The Minnesota BCA has identified the law enforcement personnel who used force during the standoff.

From the Duluth Police Department:

  • Officer Dean Bauers is part of the department’s Tactical Response Team and has been in law enforcement for nine years. Officer Bauers fired his handgun.
  • Sergeant Mike Erickson has been in law enforcement for 26 years. Sgt. Erickson fired his handgun.
  • Officer Logan Goss has been in law enforcement for five years. Officer Goss fired his shotgun.
  • Officer Aaron Haller has been in law enforcement for six years. Officer Haller deployed K9 Luna. K9 Luna was fatally shot during the incident.
  • Officer Ian Johnson has been in law enforcement for nine years. Officer Johnson fired his handgun.

From the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team:

  • Sergeant Miles Bruggman has been in law enforcement for eight years. Sgt. Bruggman fired his rifle.
  • Sergeant Benjamin Fye has been in law enforcement for 13 years. Sgt. Fye fired his rifle.
  • Deputy Troy Nichols has been in law enforcement for five years. Dep. Nichols fired less-lethal impact rounds.
  • Deputy Martin Thorne has been in law enforcement for five years. Dep. Thorne fired less-lethal rounds.
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