The Plaindealer was the first news source on site at approximately 1:30, and we will continue to provide you details as they become available.
Around 1:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, reports of shots being fired at the Casey’s General Store on 2nd Ave and 7th Street.
Nicollet County sheriff’s deputies late Wednesday morning spotted a vehicle in LaFayette that earlier in the day had been reported stolen in New Ulm.
A pursuit ensued that included deputies with the Nicollet, Blue Earth and Brown County sheriff’s departments, the New Ulm and North Mankato police departments and the Minnesota State Patrol. Eventually the male driver was identified and the pursuit called off for safety reasons.
Approximately a half hour later, the vehicle was spotted in St. James. Officers followed the vehicle until the man drove into a snow bank where the vehicle became disabled. The man then fled on foot into a business on the 600 block of 2nd Avenue South in St. James where he hid alone in an office.
Law enforcement from the St. James Police Department, the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Department and the Minnesota State Patrol entered the business. At one point, several officers deployed multiple Taser rounds. Later, another officer discharged their firearm, striking the male subject. He was taken by ambulance to the Mayo Clinic Health System hospital in St. James, where he was pronounced deceased.
One of the officers sustained a non-life threatening injury and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where they were treated and released.
Although it was not mentioned in the BCA press release one woman was spotted being lead into the Watonwan County Courthouse in handcuffs from the scene of the incident.
Late Thursday afternoon the BCA released a press release stating:
“ The Ramsey County Medical Examiner has identified the man who died as the result of an officer involved shooting incident on Wednesday in St. James, Minn. Gilberto NMN Salas, 20, of Gaylord, died of multiple gunshot wounds.”
“The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension continues to interview people who saw or took part in the incident. We expect to release the officers’ names and additional details at some point tomorrow when the first round of interviews is completed.”
The ACLU of Minnesota in a press release responding to the incident called on law enforcement to be more transparent.
“Whenever police kill someone it is a tragedy. A police shooting can hurt the whole community, especially when it happens in a small town like Saint James. The residents of Saint James, along with the family of Gilbert Salas, deserve to know what happened in this tragic incident. The investigation should be transparent and timely. The United States Department of Justice best practices recommend that, within eight hours of the incident, preliminary information should be released to the public. They also recommend authorities should brief community leaders within 24 hours of the incident and lay out a timeline of the investigatory process.”