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Authorities: Man swung ax handle at central Minnesota deputies before being shot

ST. PAUL - The names of the four deputies involved in a May 7 shooting in Kensington have been released by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, along with the name of the injured man.

Three of the deputies — Sgt. Wade Lerfald and deputies Adam Kavanagh and Grant Larson — are from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. The fourth deputy, investigator Jonathan Danner, is from the Grant County Sheriff's Office.

The injured man has been identified as John Kampmeyer, 64, of Baltic, S.D. He was shot while swinging the handle of an ax at deputies after he was told to move his broken-down vehicle, according to the BCA.

Kampmeyer remains hospitalized at St. Cloud Hospital, where is being treated for gunshot injuries that are not life-threatening.

All four deputies are on administrative leave. According to the BCA, here's how they were involved:

• Kavanagh, who has been with the sheriff's office for 11 years, used his firearm and Taser during the incident and was treated for minor injuries.

• Lerfald, who has been with the sheriff's office for 22 years, used his Taser.

• Larson, who has been with the sheriff's office for three years, didn't use any weapons, but was treated for minor injuries.

• Danner has been with the sheriff's office for 14 years. He used his baton during the incident.


Here's what happened, according to the BCA:

At about 12:30 a.m. May 7, Larson approached Kampmeyer, who had been living in his vehicle since it broke down three days earlier. Larson told Kampmeyer if he did not move the vehicle it would be towed. Kampmeyer walked away from Larson, who then called for backup.

Around 12:55 a.m., deputies located Kampmeyer standing on Central Avenue North, between Rostedt and State streets.

When deputies approached Kampmeyer, he began swinging what deputies described as a long ax handle without the ax head. The deputies used a baton and their Tasers to attempt to gain control of Kampmeyer, but were unsuccessful.

During the altercation, Kavanagh fell onto this back and Kampmeyer approached him with the long ax handle. The BCA said that was when Kavanagh fired his gun, striking Kampmeyer.

Kampmeyer was taken to the hospital in St. Cloud, while Kavanagh and Larson were taken to Alomere Health, treated for minor injuries and released.

Kensington is about 20 miles southwest of Alexandria.

BCA crime investigators were called to the scene and recovered a four-foot piece of wood. Body cameras worn by the deputies captured the incident.