FOLEY, Minn. (AP) — Five drug task force officers were shot and wounded Thursday while serving a search warrant near the Minnesota city of Princeton and a suspect was arrested, authorities said.
Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck said at a news conference that the officers announced their arrival at the suspect’s rural home around 7 a.m. and came under fire. He said they returned fire and retreated. The suspect, identified as a 64-year-old man, was taken into custody around 10:45 a.m. after several hours of negotiations, the sheriff said. At some point he was injured and was being treated at a hospital.
The officers’ injuries were not life-threatening, Heck said. Three were taken to North Memorial Hospital in the Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale, where they remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon, while two who were struck in their bullet-resistant vests were treated and released at CentraCare Hospital in St. Cloud.
The suspect was taken to North Memorial for treatment as well. The cause and extent of his injuries were not immediately known, the sheriff said.
“This has been a difficult day for us in Benton County,” Heck said. “We are grateful that the incident did not result in loss of life or further injury. We are also grateful for the bravery and professionalism of all those law enforcement professionals that were involved in this incident.”
The shooting happened in of Glendorado Township, a few miles west of Princeton, about 50 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
The officers were part of the Sherburne County Drug Task Force. Three were from the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, while one was from the Princeton Police Department and one was from the Elk River Police Department, Heck said. Benton County sheriff’s deputies were present during the incident but were not injured, Heck said.
Heck said the deputies and officers were working undercover as part of the task force and their names would not be released.
The three officers who remained hospitalized were from Sherburne County and the two police departments. The two who were hit in their body armor were both from Sherburne County, Heck said. A woman who was in the home during the shooting was taken to a Princeton hospital for evaluation.
Video from KMSP-TV showed numerous law enforcement vehicles at the scene and officers in tactical gear. Video from KARE-TV showed law enforcement was converged on a rural area with homes in the trees surrounded by farm fields. An armored vehicle was seen driving on the edge of one field.
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was called in to investigate, which it often does in cases of shootings involving law enforcement officers.