3 Richfield police officers on paid leave after fatal shooting

  • Article by: TOM MEERSMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 8, 2012 - 8:15 PM

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

Three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man last week have been placed on paid administrative leave, a standard procedure, Richfield Police Chief Todd Sandell said Monday.

Sandell said the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting, which killed 25-year-old Jeff O'Connor.

"I am confident that this investigation will determine that our officers acted in accordance with department policy and procedure and it will be determined that this was a justified use of force," he said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Sandell called the shooting a tragic event and offered deep sympathy to O'Connor's family. The Sheriff's Office said only that the case is "an active investigation."

The chief did not take questions and did not release any details about the shooting. He did say that O'Connor died at the scene and that no one else was hurt.

The officers involved are: Sgt. Mark Shelley, a 20-year veteran of the Richfield Police Department; officer Tom Blair, a 23-year veteran of the department, and officer Brian Rogge, a 16-year veteran.

Police were called to a rambler in the 6600 block of Park Avenue S. shortly before 9 a.m. Friday for a domestic disturbance and a crisis situation involving a man with a knife.

At the home, police shot O'Connor, who had lived at the home for nearly two years. O'Connor lived with his aunt, Kathy Brockmeier, who last week called him a "gentle, kind young man.

"He was a very good guy, and we all loved him very much," she said.

O'Connor had "some issues" recently, she said, but declined to elaborate. On Monday, family members did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

He had attended Groves Academy, a St. Louis Park private school for students with learning disabilities and attention disorders, and had been working part-time.

According to an obituary, O'Connor worked at Cargill through Lifeworks Services, a nonprofit serving people with disabilities. His funeral will be held Thursday at noon at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis.

Tom Meersman • 612-673-7388

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