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Trollin226

Deputy who fired shots in wrong house acted 'reasonably and lawfully'

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WOW !!!!!

Deputy who fired shots in wrong house acted 'reasonably and lawfully'

The Dakota County Attorney has concluded that a Scott County deputy's actions were "reasonable and lawful" when he accidentally broke into the wrong house and fired several shots in the direction of a man who had done nothing wrong.

The information is contained in a press release emailed to KARE 11 Wednesday night by the Scott County Sheriff's Department.

On January 4, Deputy Marcus Hoffer responded to a call of domestic assault at a home in New Market Township.

Hoffer found two buildings on the property when he arrived -- a split level house and what appeared to be an empty pole barn.

The press release says Deputy Hoffer repeatedly banged on the door of the house, identified himself as a deputy, and eventually, when no one answered, forced his way inside.

He immediately spotted a man with a gun at the top of the stairs, and according to authorities, again identified himself as a deputy.

When the man appeared to raise his weapon, Deputy Hoffer fired five shots and left the house to wait for help.

The men inside were eventually arrested with no further incident.

The press release from Scott County quotes Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom as saying "given the limited information Deputy Hoffer had as he responded to the domestic call and the urgency of the situation, it was reasonable for Deputy Hoffer to assume that the domestic was or had occurred at the single family residence."

Backstrom also concluded the deputy lawfully fired his weapon, fearing for his own safety or that of others.

At the time, the man in the house, Justin Friedges, told KARE 11 the whole thing caught him and his brother off guard, and he didn't believe the man banging on his door was a deputy.

"I was just watching TV and then the guy comes banging on the door. Just sounds crazy. Just screaming open the door," Friedges said in January. "I was screaming get out. 911. I just barely got my head out and see a shadow of a guy and then a gun flash," Friedges said.

Friedges claimed at the time the deputy did not identify himself as a deputy until after firing shots.

Backstrom concluded otherwise.

According to Sheriff Kevin Studnicka, it was later discovered that the original domestic dispute call, made from a cell phone, came from the other building that was near the home at the same address.

No one was hurt in either incident.

(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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Deputy Fiefth at it again.

No disrespect to law enforcement but gees get it right before you go charging into a house.

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I bet they get a big old lawsuit against them for that. I thought safety was the number one thing for a cop. So why would he go in by himself. To me it just dont ad up

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Quote:
Deputy who fired shots in wrong house acted 'reasonably and lawfully'

I agree 100 percent!

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I bet they get a big old lawsuit against them for that. I thought safety was the number one thing for a cop. So why would he go in by himself. To me it just dont ad up

Gee I wonder.... lets see maybe your sister was being beaten or killed????

Let me geuss if it was your wife, sister, friend who was being assulted you guys would be the one's complainning about why the officer didn't go in.

They don't give a you a crystal ball in Law enforcment.

And as far as the guy in the house goes with the gun what did he think was going on when the officer repeatably yelled Police open up.

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Fact of the matter is the homeowners word against a deputy! Aint gunna win that battle my friend, even if he didnt acknowledge himself as law enforcement, its your word against his! Wonder how this would have all workd out at the homeowner decided to fire back?

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Quote:
Deputy who fired shots in wrong house acted 'reasonably and lawfully'

I agree 100 percent!

How is this reasonable or lawful? He broke into the wrong house I could maybe understand if he heard a struggle or screaming but that was not the case. Police, Fire, and EMS get bad information form cell phone calls all the time. It is up to them to use their judgment once on scene to sort out the problem. IMHO this was a very bad call made by the deputy.

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I don't know the whole story so I'll refrain from passing judgement. However, as a fireman I have no problem saying that no matter how dire the situation may be, nobody, and I mean nobody goes inside alone, period. Your wife, my sister, a friend, it does not matter.......nobody goes inside alone.

Firefighting and Law enforcement are 2 different animals so I may be comparing apples to oranges, and that's cool. It just seems odd that he'd go it alone.

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I guess what bothers me is that he never hit the guy, which means he must not have a good look at the guy. Another thing that bothers me is that multiple shots were fired. Another thing that bothers me is that he never identified himself until after shots were fired.

Seem like there was some protocol that was not followed here. I hate to question an LEO, but it seems like we are missing some vital info.

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The problem here is we are going off of the info a reporter is giving us. We all know how accurate they can be! I agree, there is something that doesnt seem right about this story, or we arent getting all of the info. Lets not pass to much blame to the officer.

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Not many judges or courts will take the testimony of an average citizen over the police. The police are always right somehow. We have all seen it before. good luck

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HE WAS AT THE RIGHT ADDRESS (wrong building) how would he know to go to the pole barn?

You guy's need to remember this is a deputy in a rural situation... how far away was his back-up?

We DO NOT know the whole story, maybe one of the guys inside yelled at him to go away, very common in D.V. situations, maybe he heard nothing, also common in D.V. situations. What would you do when a life is possibly at stake?

Why did he miss? Have you ever had a gun pointed at you, drew your weapon, pointed it at the other guy with a gun while shouting orders, and tried to hit the person standing 12-15 feet away, plus you are moving so you don't get shot too? I was in the Military and have been in LE since 1992 and have seen the best target shooters miss when it turns to life or death.

What a bunch of arm chair QB's, the cops are never there fast enough or don't do the right thing... If you make a mistake at your job you cut another 2X4, use your eraser, hit backspace on the computer, or take some other non-life threatening action.

Why didn’t the homeowner drop the gun when he saw the deputy?

There are many side to this story, the homeowners side, the deputy's side, what the witness saw, the finding of fact by the judge, and THE TRUTH. We only know what we read,

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where was the search warrant for breaking in the house? If it was my house and a guy broke in and started shooting, dead man. cop or not.

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That cop or any on else for that matter, would have been in a world of hurt had they/he barged into my house with a flailing gun. This story dose not surprise me as I know many officers that could care less about our rights.(I also know many that hold our rights in very high regard). This story just reenforces the fact that just because they went to school and were given a shiny piece of metal to put on their chest dose not mean that they can be trusted.

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What a bunch of arm chair QB's, the cops are never there fast enough or don't do the right thing... If you make a mistake at your job you cut another 2X4, use your eraser, hit backspace on the computer, or take some other non-life threatening action.

Now granted I don't carry a gun, but I do work as a firefighter and a paramedic for a very busy metro department. So I do know what it is like to make life changing decisions on the fly, and I am probably not the only person on fm that has a job like that...

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From the first post.

"He (deputy) immediately spotted a man with a gun at the top of the stairs, and according to authorities, again identified himself as a deputy."

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From the first post.

"He (deputy) immediately spotted a man with a gun at the top of the stairs, and according to authorities, again identified himself as a deputy."

Well that changes everything:

Studnicka said last month that the brothers said they had a gun, but not that they pointed it at Hoffer. He said Wednesday that there was no dispute whether one of the men pointed a rifle at Hoffer, but that authorities chose not to disclose that last month.

When this first broke, they said they had a gun just to scare whoever was breaking in.

I guess I feel differently then.

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Tonka and pete you guys would actually be the ones in a world of hurt in court over this issue if you fired on the LEO. The deputy entered the house because of a physical domestic situation (something people are killed by everyday)...if you think a LEO needs a warrant to go into that situation to intervene and possibly save a life you are sadly mistaken and obviously do not know what you are talking about...In many rural areas there may only be one deputy on which means his back-up is coming from the closest city or the state patrol, and you are not going to wait at the door for an extended period of time waiting for that backup when someones life is in danger...then the deputy enters the house and sees a guys with a gun at the top of the stairs and the guys begings to point the gun at the deputy...what do you expect him to do get shot!!!No he fired off enough rounds to keep the guy from getting a shot off and got out of the house....sounds like pretty standard police training to me!!!

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