BCA: Duluth Standoff Suspect Who Killed K9 Luna Incited 2 Shootouts With Police
David Conwell, 37, was shot and killed by St. Louis County deputies when he pointed his gun at them from the house's porch after prior gunfire, according to the BCA.
DULUTH, Minn. – New details were released Tuesday involving what went down during last week’s fatal 20-hour standoff in Duluth that ended with the shooting deaths of police K9 Luna and the suspect.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says David Conwell, 37, of Duluth shot at Duluth police two separate times before his third attempt backfired in a big way — being shot dead by St. Louis County deputies.
FOX 21’s Dan Hanger reports:
The latest from the BCA reveals Duluth police had no indication Conwell was armed after a 911 call from a neighbor about a possible physical domestic incident Thursday, Feb. 25 around 8:30 p.m., and officers could not determine if the female inside the home was actually assaulted when they spoke with her.
Duluth police officers, including Officer Aaron Haller and his K9, Luna, began their search for him inside the home on the 2300 block of West 4th Street in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
The BCA says officers found Conwell hiding in a bedroom closet. K9 Luna attempted to apprehend Conwell when he began shooting a shotgun at officers and fatally striking K9 Luna. There is no indication Conwell was hit when officers returned fire, according to the BCA.
Duluth’s Tactical Response Team was deployed. Chemical irritants were used multiple times to try to force Conwell to give up. Then more than six hours later at 3 a.m. Friday, the tactical team entered the home. Conwell emerged from the closet and started shooting again, according to the BCA. Officers returned fire. Nobody was hit at that time and the tactical team retreated.
Then after 10 hours, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team (ERT) relieved Duluth’s tactical team. More chemical irritants were deployed into the house to no avail.
Around 4 p.m. ERT officers entered the building and determined Conwell was in a second floor closet. They removed a section of the exterior wall of the closet. That’s when Conwell jumped through a hole onto the porch and pointed his gun at deputies. Deputies then shot and killed Conwell — ending the two-day standoff.
No one else was injured. The BCA recovered a gun at the scene. Portions of the incident were captured on Duluth police body cameras. St. Louis County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team does not have body cams.
Four Duluth police officers fired their weapons during the standoff. Officer Haller used force by deploying K9 Luna. All are on standard administrative leave.
Four St. Louis County Sheriff’s deputies also used force. Two are on standard administrative leave for firing their shotguns. The other two are not on leave because they used less lethal rounds.
The officers involved from both agencies have experience ranging from five years to 26 years on the job.
The BCA is continuing its investigation before providing its findings without recommendation to the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office for review.
Congressman Pete Stauber of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District honored K9 Luna on the House floor Tuesday.
Hundreds lined the streets of Duluth and beyond to honor K9 Luna during a procession.
Officer Haller is the same officer who lost K9 Haas to an armed suspect in 2019. Click here to watch Haller’s journey through that loss and during the training of his new K9, Luna.