Family members Wednesday identified the man fatally shot in a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies inside a parked camper in Vadnais Heights.
Darren Jahnke, 47, died Sunday night inside the recreational vehicle that was parked in the 3200 block of Fanum Road, said his former wife and two siblings. His identity was confirmed by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as well.
Four Ramsey County deputies were placed on paid administrative leave as the BCA investigates. They are Lisa Daly, a 25-year veteran; Doug Haider, 11 years; Sara Naglosky, 4 months, and Andre Rongitsch, 12 years.
“There was some sort of confrontation, and he got shot somehow,” said Mark Jahnke, Darren’s brother.
Jenny Vance said her brother “was a good person. Our hearts are broken.”
Karol Reykjavik was married to Darren Jahnke, who grew up in Ellsworth, Wis., moved to the Twin Cities when he was about 20 and worked at the St. Paul Ford plant for about six years.
Reykjavik said their marriage dissolved after Jahnke suffered a serious head injury several years ago while helping a neighbor in Mahtomedi with an outdoor deck.
“He was never the same again,” she said, adding that her ex-husband turned to illicit drugs. “Before he hurt his head he was a wonderful human being.”
She said the RV became a roving home for him.
According to the BCA’s preliminary investigation, deputies Rongitsch and Naglosky, on routine patrol, approached the car on Fanum Road. A woman inside told them that a male, identified by the medical examiner as Jahnke, was inside the RV. As the deputies approached the RV, deputies Haider and Daly arrived. The deputies saw Jahnke sitting in the driver compartment of the vehicle.
After attempting to speak with Jahnke, the four deputies entered the RV. A struggle ensued during which two deputies deployed their Tasers, but the Tasers were ineffective. At that point in the struggle, Jahnke disarmed one of the deputies. Deputy Rongitsch then fired his weapon, striking Jahnke, the BCA said in a statement. The four deputies immediately rendered first aid and requested an ambulance.
Mr. Jahnke was taken by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he later died. No deputies were injured.