First Responders

1 Arrested, 3 Shot After Hours-Long Standoff in Minnesota

December 1, 2020Joshua Skovlund
Coffee or Die Photo

An active shooter in Albert Lea, Minnesota, has been arrested after a standoff lasting from before sunrise on Sunday until 10:48 a.m. the same day, according to a Facebook post from the Albert Lea Police Department (ALPD). One ALPD officer and two bystanders were shot during the incident. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and we wish them all a quick and speedy recovery. I want to thank all the agencies that assisted in the stabilizing of the situation and helping the many Shady Oaks tenants who were displaced by the situation,” Albert Lea’s Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr. said in a statement. “I was impressed with the organization and teamwork that all the law enforcement agencies brought to the situation. Their skills are greatly appreciated by our community.” 

An ALPD officer responded to a noise complaint pertaining to possible gunshots or fireworks in the area of the Shady Oaks apartment building, located at 800 S. 4th Ave. in Albert Lea, about 90 miles south of Minneapolis. The officer, who has not been identified, was ambushed with a hail of gunfire almost immediately after arriving. 

albert lea active shooter
Devin Matthew Weiland fired rounds at officers from the third floor of the Shady Oaks apartment complex in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Screenshot from YouTube.

One bullet struck the officer in the chest, but his ballistic vest saved his life. Several bullets struck the officer’s squad car. The officer was able to maneuver away to a safe location to evaluate his wounds, according to a Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) press release.

The BCA identified the shooter as Devin Matthew Weiland, 21, of Albert Lea. The two bystanders who were struck by gunfire were not identified but were described as adult males, ages 52 and 38. 

“The third victim happened to be a passerby in a vehicle on his way to work, and [Weiland] shot at that car and it went through the car and hit the guy in the leg,” said ALPD director of public safety J.D. Carlson. “The second victim was actually a neighbor of the shooter who happened to be outside, having a smoke break or what have you, and got shot in the arm. Anytime a target provided itself, the guy shot at it.”

albert lea active shooter
Some of the officers who responded to the active shooter incident in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Screenshot from YouTube.

Multiple law enforcement agencies coordinated a response, and as they established a perimeter around the apartment building, Weiland continued firing shots at anything that was within range, including the SWAT armored personnel carriers. At one point during the standoff, Weiland shot one of the law enforcement drones out of the air with what was believed to be buckshot from a shotgun. 

According to Carlson, the tactical teams fired gas projectiles into Weiland’s apartment on the third floor of the building while a separate team conducted a tactical callout in the hallway outside his apartment. After the gas penetrated Weiland’s apartment, he began sporadically firing one of his weapons. Carlson said that Weiland had a shotgun as well as a 7.62-caliber SKS-style semi-automatic rifle, which they believe was used against the officer who was first on scene. 

At one point, a Minnesota State Patrol officer fired what Carlson described as a “sniper shot” at Weiland, and it’s believed that the round impacted the firearm that Weiland was holding at the time. They are still investigating, Carlson said, but they believe Weiland’s injuries were caused by an explosion of shrapnel from that impact.

devan weiland
Weiland’s booking photo after he was released from the hospital. Photo courtesy of the Freeborn County Jail.

Weiland surrendered after sustaining injuries and was quickly taken into custody. While officers evacuated the apartment complex following Weiland’s arrest, human remains were discovered in a separate apartment, which were not believed to be related to the incident, according to the BCA. 

The ALPD officer was able to drive himself to the Mayo Clinic Health System-Albert Lea campus hospital emergency department. He has been released and is considered in stable condition. The two bystanders injured during the incident were both ultimately flown to the Mayo Clinic’s St. Marys campus hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

Weiland was treated for his injuries and released back to law enforcement. He is currently booked in the Freeborn County Jail under a charge listed as “Assault-2nd Degree-Dangerous Weapon-Substantial Bodily Harm.”

Both the ALPD and the BCA Homicide Unit are investigating the active shooter incident. The ALPD is conducting an additional investigation into the circumstances surrounding the human remains found in the apartment complex. The BCA Force Investigations Unit is investigating the officer-involved shooting.

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.

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