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Officers thought Clausen aimed a gun when they opened fire

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An undercover gun buy by Washington County Narcotics Task Force detectives led to the standoff that saw four law enforcement agents shoot and kill a St. Paul Park man in Cottage Grove earlier this month, according to documents filed with the Washington County Attorney's Office.

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Jeffrey L. Clausen, 33, was shot and killed by law enforcement agents at around 11 p.m. on July 7 after refusing to comply with officers' orders following a traffic stop on Hadley Avenue. Authorities have not said publicly whether Clausen was armed, but according to a search warrant affidavit in the case, officers believed Clausen was aiming a gun at them when four members of the Washington County Special Response Team opened fire.

Undercover detectives with the county's narcotics task force had been engaged in the purchase of a firearm from Clausen in a Walgreen's parking lot at the intersection of 80th Street and East Point Douglas Road, according to the affidavit. An informant had told detectives that Clausen -- a felon with a lengthy rap sheet and unable to legally possess firearms -- was attempting to sell a rifle and a handgun.

Officers pulled over the gray Volvo carrying Clausen, driver Tiffany D. Merta, 27, and a third passenger as they followed the vehicle back to St. Paul Park, where Clausen had told the detective he had a handgun he could also sell.

Merta surrendered to police before shots were fired. She was arrested but released the next day, and has not been charged. The back-seat passenger was wounded in the burst of gunfire and was not arrested or charged.

Three Woodbury officers and a Cottage Grove officer were involved in the shooting. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident.

The shooting was the second police-involved shooting in Cottage Grove in 2010. A Woodbury officer also shot and killed a man during an April incident.

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