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Duluth Police officer charged with 2 felonies after ‘unjustified’ shooting

DULUTH, MN -- A Duluth Police Officer is facing two felony charges after the St. Louis County Attorney's Office ruled Monday an officer-involved shooting in downtown Duluth in mid-September was unjustified.

According to St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin, Duluth Police Officer Tyler Leibfried’s conduct fails the “objective reasonable officer standard and that it was not an objectively reasonable use of deadly force."

Leibfried was charged with two felonies Monday, including, Intentional Discharge of a Firearm that Endangers Safety of Another, and Reckless Discharge of a Firearm in a Municipality.

His first court date had not been set as of Monday afternoon.

Duluth Police officers responded to an apartment at 105 W. 1st Street on September 12 following multiple 911 calls about a physical domestic incident.

Shortly after officers arrived, the officers indicated they heard two gun shots and a witness reported hearing loud sounds from inside the apartment.

Officer Leibfried discharged his firearm into the door. The shot went through the door and struck Jared Fyle, 23, of Duluth, in the shoulder.

"After mistakenly thinking he heard two gunshots, Officer Leibfried fired first four, then two more rounds into a closed door leading to apartment," according to the County Attorney's office.

The BCA says Fyle exited the apartment a short time later and was taken to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center and treated for his injury.

He was taken into police custody and booked into the St. Louis County Jail on probable cause domestic assault.

He was released the next day. Authorities later announced no charges would be filed against him. Fyle has an attorney representing him.

Based on the BCA's preliminary investigation, no shots were fired from inside the apartment and no firearms were recovered at the scene. A hatchet was located just inside the door, according to the BCA.

Portions of the incident were captured on officers’ body cameras.

No one else was in the apartment at the time of the incident. The alleged victim in the reported domestic incident had left the apartment before law enforcement arrived. That person was not injured, authorities said.

There was no immediate word on Leibfried's status within the Duluth Police Department.

Duluth Police shared a statement Monday, saying the department is now conducting its own internal investigation.

"With the criminal charges today, the Duluth Police Department will have access to the full investigation for the first time. The Duluth Police Department is immediately commencing an administrative investigation and anticipate our findings in the next 7-10 days. Officer Leibfried will remain on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the administrative investigation."

The union representing Officer Liebfred weighed in on his charges and said he's a dedicated police officer.

In a statement, they said in part, "The Duluth Police Union continues to support Officer Leibfried through the due process of the internal investigation being conducted by the Duluth Police Department."

The union also said they haven't seen all the details of the investigation and won't comment on the incident itself until they do.

On Monday the attorney representing the victim also commented on the charges.

In a statement, the attorney said, they support the charges and are distributed by what they called a lack of transparency from the City of Duluth. They claimed so far the city has refused to release any meaningful documentation concerning the shooting.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Briggs LeSavage

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