Cottage Grove officer cleared in St. Paul Park standoff shootingThe Washington County Attorney’ Office has cleared a Cottage Grove police officer of wrongdoing in connection with a shooting during an August standoff in St. Paul Park.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office has cleared a Cottage Grove police officer of wrongdoing in connection with a shooting during an August standoff in St. Paul Park.
In a letter to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput wrote that Cottage Grove Officer Patrick Nickle would not be prosecuted for the shooting of Nathan A. Kluessendorf, who had been firing at officers on Aug. 2 from his mother’s St. Paul Park home after police responded to reports that he may have been suicidal.
It is standard for the county attorney’s office to review officer-involved shootings. The incident was the third shooting involving Cottage Grove police since March 2010.
“He should be commended for his diligence and courage in stopping an imminent threat to several officers’ lives during that incident,” Orput wrote in the letter dated Oct. 13. Nickle shot Kluessendorf in the abdomen after the 22-year-old had directed numerous shotgun and rifle blasts at police.
Nickle – a Cottage Grove officer since 2003, National Guard Captain and Iraq War veteran – was well within his legal rights to use deadly force during the incident, Orput said.
Kluessendorf was hospitalized after the incident. He faces criminal charges including three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer and another three counts of use of deadly force against a peace officer.
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