Deputy killed in Minnesota after hospitalized suspect grabs his gun

Posted at 2:51 PM, Oct 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-18 22:28:43-04

By Catherine E. Shoichet and Shawn Nottingham


(CNN) — A deputy was shot dead at a Minnesota hospital Sunday after the suspect he was guarding grabbed his gun and opened fire.

Aitkin County Sheriff’s Investigator Steven Sandberg, 60, died during an altercation at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota, state officials said in a statement.

The man he was guarding, 50-year-old Danny Hammond, had been receiving medical care at the hospital after a domestic dispute, CNN affiliate WCCO reported.

Around 5:15 a.m. Sunday, the suspect “gained control of Sandberg’s gun and shot him,” the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said.

Hammond also died at the hospital after a security guard used a Taser to subdue him. Officials said the suspect “experienced a medical emergency” after he was Tasered.

Sandberg had worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 24 years, officials said. He is survived by his wife and daughter, Aitkin County Sheriff Scott Turner told reporters.

After the deadly shooting, a solemn convoy of police vehicles escorted his body to the medical examiner’s office, where investigators will conduct an autopsy, WCCO reported.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton expressed condolences to Sandberg’s family in a statement Sunday, calling his death a “terrible, senseless murder.”

“This tragedy reminds us that Minnesota’s law enforcement officers risk their lives every day and night to keep us safe,” he said.