AUSTIN, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is releasing more details following a fatal officer-involved shooting that took place in Austin on Wednesday.
They say 41-year old Ronald Dean Johnson of Austin died of a gunshot wound to the head. Police say Johnson was killed by Austin Police Officer Chad Norman.
Here is what we know about what led up to the shooting. Shortly after 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, law enforcement from the Austin Police Department and Mower County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance involving a person with a knife.
According to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s (BCA) preliminary investigation, when a woman who had been visiting Johnson at his home informed him that she was leaving, Johnson produced a knife and refused to allow her to leave. He then forced her to the upper level of the home.
When law enforcement arrived on scene they made contact with Johnson who told them if they attempted to come to the second floor Johnson would “cut her.” When the woman began screaming law enforcement attempted to climb the stairs to the second level. Johnson reportedly began throwing items down on them, striking Officer Norman with a window unit air conditioner and glass bottle. Officer Norman then fired his weapon, striking Johnson.
Johnson was taken by Gold Cross Ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin and later by helicopter to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester where he died.
Officer Norman was taken to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released. The woman was not stabbed but had been assaulted prior to law enforcement arriving on scene.
BCA crime scene personnel recovered several knives and blades at the scene.There is no body-worn camera or other video of the incident. The BCA is continuing their investigation at the request of the Austin Police Department. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will turn its finding over to the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office for review.
Officer Norman has been with Austin Police Department for 14 years. He is currently on standard administrative leave. No other law enforcement fired their weapon during the incident.