Officers thought Clausen aimed a gun when they opened fireWhether St. Paul Park man killed by police was actually armed during July 7 shooting hasn't been released
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.
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.