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02/03/2018

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the three officers who discharged their weapons during an officer involved shooting incident on January 31 in St. James.

Assistant Chief Rochelle Hanson has been in law enforcement for 18 years including 14 years with the St. James Police Department. Hanson discharged her Taser and her firearm.

Trooper Jacob Ruppert, who has been in law enforcement for 11 years including one year with the Minnesota State Patrol, discharged his Taser.Trooper Ruppert was a Martin County Sheriff's Deputy for several years before joining the State Patrol.

Sergeant Barry Gulden, who has been with the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office for 22 years, discharged his Taser.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner identified the deceased Thursday as Gilberto Salas, 20, of Gaylord. Salas died of multiple gunshot wounds. The BCA is investigating the officer involved shooting at the request of the St. James Police Department.

Assistant Chief Hanson sustained a minor injury to the left hand. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was treated and released.

Store surveillance cameras and Trooper Ruppert’s Taser camera captured portions of the confrontation, but none captured the shooting itself. No officers were wearing body cameras and there is no dash camera footage of the shooting.

Assistant Chief Hanson, Trooper Ruppert and Sergeant Gulden are all on standard administrative leave.

The investigation is active and ongoing. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will turn its findings over to the Watonwan County Attorney’s Office for review.



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