Man fatally shot in Ramsey and officers who fired are identified
- Article by: JOY POWELL and Shannon Prather
- Star Tribune staff writers
- August 29, 2014 - 11:38 PM
The man shot dead Thursday by two Ramsey police officers after allegedly pointing a gun at them was identified Friday as Chaz Michael Havenor, 21, of Michigan.
He died of multiple gunshot wounds at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids about a half-hour after the shooting, according to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.
The officers involved — Jerad Dixon and Richard Webb — are on paid leave, which is standard procedure, as the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigates.
Dixon is a nine-year veteran of the department and Webb has worked there for seven years, according to a news release from the BCA.
Ramsey Police Capt. Jeff Katers said it was the first officer-involved shooting in a decade in the department, which has 23 licensed officers.
Dixon had responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot near a day care facility on 157th Lane NW. in Ramsey at 3 p.m. Thursday, the BCA said.
Webb arrived minutes later.
According to the preliminary investigation, Dixon approached the vehicle, spoke with three people inside and asked one passenger to get out. Havenor fled on foot across the parking lot and officers chased him for about 75 feet.
Havenor turned and pointed a handgun at them, and both officers fired, the BCA said.
Two witnesses who were in the car were not arrested and will not be charged, authorities said Friday. They are identified as Jared Lee Overton of Gilbert and Levi Jean Jacobson, no permanent address.
In Havenor’s hometown of Marenisco, Mich., a town of about 700, Police Chief Bruce Mahler said he has known Havenor since he was a baby and in recent years had tried to help him.
“He had lots of drug-related issues,” the chief said.
About two months ago, he arrested Havenor for violating terms of his probation, including staying in touch with his probation officer.
“He and I had a discussion about his lifestyle and about getting straight,” Mahler said.
“The day that I arrested him was the first time I had talked to him in about two years where he wasn’t high on something. And he told me at that time that he wanted to do what was right, and he was going to. But words are one thing, actions are another.”
Havenor was released on personal recognizance to leave town for a job that his father, a construction worker in the Madison, Wis., area, had arranged, the chief said.
But Havenor didn’t meet bond conditions, and the arrest warrant was reissued.
Years ago, Mahler was a schools officer when Havenor was a grade-schooler: “I used to see him daily, and he was a very polite, smart young man at that time.”
Havenor had a younger sister and lived with his parents until they divorced about 10 years ago, and then with his grandparents for a while.
“He didn’t have a very stable home life,” the chief said.
Still, Havenor was “a typical UPer kid” who liked hunting, fishing and snowmobiling.
“I had no problems with Chaz,” Mahler said. “Even in the later years, when he had some problems, I used to try to work with him, help him as much as I could.”
Havenor bounced around the area in the past few years, returning periodically to Marenisco to visit relatives, the chief said. Havenor’s Facebook page says he had lived in Marquette, Mich., after Marenisco.
“There were many instances over the last few years where he never did anything in my jurisdiction that I was aware of, but I would get information that he’s involved in this or that,” Mahler said.
“I would take him aside and say, ‘Hey, you can’t do these sorts of things; if there’s something wrong, you need to talk to me about it.’ ”
Joy Powell • 612-673-7750
Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804
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