- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2020

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Wednesday that four law officers fired their guns in a weekend shootout that killed a robbery suspect as he tried to escape in a raft on the Minnesota River near Mankato.

The BCA identified the officers as Lt. Jeremy Brennan and Deputy James Othoudt, both with the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office; Nicollet County sheriff’s Deputy Paul Biederman; and North Mankato police Officer Chris Hendrickson. All are on standard administrative leave.

The man who died was earlier identified as Austin Dean Heights, 24, who had no permanent address. Heights died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The BCA said Heights robbed a gas station Saturday and fled in a rubber raft while exchanging gunfire with officers. He was shot as he tried to get out of the raft. Officers recovered his body from the river. Two guns were found at the scene.

No officers were wearing body cameras and there is no squad camera footage of the incident, the BCA said.



The agency continues to investigate.

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