Deputy fatally shot by patient he was guarding in St. Cloud Hospital
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KMSP) - An investigator with the Aitkin County sheriff's department was shot and killed by a patient he was guarding at St. Cloud Hospital after the patient wrangled his gun away early Sunday morning.
Investigator Steven Sandberg, 60, has been with the Aitkin County Sheriff's Department since 1991. He leaves behind his wife and daughter.
The patient, 50-year-old Aitkin man Danny Leroy Hammond, was a subject of a domestic violence investigation and was being treated at the hospital for an undisclosed health condition. He was Tased by responding security personnel and also died, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension officials confirmed.
BCA officials said around 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, Hammond got out of his hospital bed and "engaged in an altercation with Sandberg, during which Hammond gained control of Sandberg’s gun and shot him." A hospital security guard Tased Hammond, who "experienced a medical emergency" and later died.
Officers from various agencies spanned Interstate 94 as Sandberg was transported from St. Cloud to the Ramsey County medical examiner's office.
It's unclear what prompted the struggle, and the circumstances surrounding the shooting remain under investigation. No hospital patients or personnel were injured. Officials said there is no ongoing threat to public safety.
“I deplore the terrible, senseless murder of Deputy Sheriff Steven Sandberg. On behalf of all Minnesotans, I extend my deepest condolences to his family. This tragedy reminds us that Minnesota's law enforcement officers risk their lives every day and night to keep us safe," Gov. Dayton said in a statement.