Police fatally shoot suspect after assault investigation takes a twist

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 23, 2009 - 12:04 AM

After refusing to drop a knife and surrender, a man was shot and killed by two officers in Shakopee.

Late Friday, Gordon William Denmark allegedly assaulted his estranged wife and a neighbor with a knife in Shakopee, then fled, police say.

Afterward, Shakopee police secured and locked the house in the 3000 block of Pine Tree Lane where the alleged assault occurred.

When they returned to the scene Saturday afternoon to look for further evidence related to the assault, they found something they hadn't expected: signs of a break-in, Police Chief Dan Hughes said in an prepared statement.

Soon, police say, they discovered the 36-year-old Denmark hiding in an attic space connected to a bedroom.

When he emerged from his hiding place armed with a knife, the officers commanded him to drop the weapon, police say.

Denmark refused.

So one officer Tasered Denmark, whom police had been looking for on suspicion of second-degree assault, second-degree domestic assault and violating an order of protection related to the events of the night before.

Denmark was unaffected by the Taser and continued to wield the knife, police said. And so, fearing for their lives, two officers fired their service revolvers, striking Denmark.

The shooting happened at about 4 p.m., and Denmark died on the scene.

All of the police officers involved in the incident were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such cases, police said.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.

Chao Xiong • 612-673-4391

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