- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (AP) - The gunman who led dozens of law enforcement officers on a daylong manhunt before committing suicide in Jordan should never have had a weapon, authorities said Wednesday.

David Michael Winters, 41, was prohibited from possessing firearms because he was a convicted felon and a gang member with a history of criminal behavior, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/16BcQwy ) reported.

Winters became the subject of the manhunt after exchanging gunfire with police outside a St. Louis Park business on Tuesday. The search ended early Wednesday when authorities found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a house in Jordan, southwest of Minneapolis, surrounded by tactical officers.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said authorities are “going to work hard” to try to find out where Winters got his gun.

“We want to know how a prohibited person came into possession of a firearm when he should not have had any legal right to it,” Stanek said. “Somehow (criminals) are finding ways to get them.”

Winters’ criminal history in Minnesota spans more than two decades and includes convictions for first-degree drug manufacturing, counterfeit checks, disorderly conduct and second-degree assault. He also was a member of a motorcycle gang, Stanek said.

At one point during the manhunt, police surrounded a busy Byerly’s grocery store in St. Louis Park, thinking Winters was inside. But Stanek said it turns out he was not.

“We have no reason to believe he ever entered the store,” Stanek said.

The store was locked down and SWAT officers escorted employees from the store.

Hennepin County is investigating the officer-involved shooting in St. Louis Park, which involved seven police officers from the Minneapolis suburb who exchanged shots with Winters, who was armed with a handgun. No one was hurt.

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