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Officers placed on leave following fatal shooting of Gaylord, Minn. man

ST JAMES, Minn. -- Three officers who discharged their weapons during an officer involved shooting on Wednesday, Jan. 31, have been placed on administrative leave, according to a press release from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

ST JAMES, Minn. -- Three officers who discharged their weapons during an officer involved shooting on Wednesday, Jan. 31, have been placed on administrative leave, according to a press release from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

Gilberto Salas, 20, of Gaylord, Minn. was spotted driving a stolen vehicle in LaFayette, Minn. Wednesday morning. Deputies from Nicollet, Blue Earth, and Brown County sheriff's departments, New Ulm and Mankato police departments and the Minnesota State Patrol were involved in the resulting pursuit, which reached speeds up to 120 miles per hour. According to the press release, the pursuit was ended due to safety concerns.

Around 1 p.m., Salas was again spotted driving the vehicle and fled from officers through residential neighborhoods at high speeds. After the vehicle became stuck in a snowbank, Salas fled officers on foot and took shelter in a convenience store.

Assistant Chief Rochelle Hanson of St James Police Department, Trooper Jacob Ruppert of Minnesota State Patrol and Sgt. Barry Gulden of Watonwan County sheriff's office followed Salas into the store. Gulden fired his taser, striking Salas. The man then closed himself in an office behind the counter, coming out carrying a knife two minutes later, the press release said.

Salas ignored commands to drop the knife and was again struck by tasers, this time fired by Ruppert and Hanson. Salas moved toward Hanson, who then shot him.

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The officers administered medical aid and immediately called for an ambulance. Salas was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System hospital in St. James, where he was pronounced dead as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.

Parts of the incident were captured by Ruppert's taser camera and store surveillance cameras, but there is no footage of the shooting itself, according to the press release. None of the officers were wearing body cameras.

All three officers are on administrative leave pending an investigation by the BCA.

Kaity Young is a news editor at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. She joined the company in 2018 and enjoys learning about her community and the region through editing news stories.
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