A 35-year-old man was defying police orders in a St. Louis Park apartment when an officer fatally shot him twice in the abdomen, according to a court document filed this week.
But the search warrant affidavit filed by a Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office detective does not reveal what prompted police to shoot Matthew Tuhkanen or whether he had a weapon when he was killed Jan. 19.
Officer Samuel Heffernan, 26, who has been with the St. Louis Park force for three years, shot Tuhkanen, of Anoka, about 6:15 p.m. inside a bedroom at the Louisiana Court Apartments at 2760 Louisiana Court. Heffernan was placed on routine administrative leave.
The application for the search includes the most detailed timeline yet from authorities of what happened in the 73 minutes leading up to the gunfire.
A police search of the apartment that night turned up a knife in a closet, a plastic toy hammer in the bedroom, four spent cartridge casings and a “metal object w/pink handle,” the court document listed among other items collected as potential evidence.
According to the filing, police responded to a 911 call about an argument in the apartment and determined they had been there before and knew that Tuhkanen had a history of being violent and suffered from mental illness.
But before officers arrived, Tuhkanen hid elsewhere in the complex. Officers left and returned on a second 911 call for a possible domestic assault in progress. It was during this second visit that the officers reported Tuhkanen “was noncompliant” and he was shot.