Carlton County deputy ruled justified in Moose Lake shooting

Sgt. Jason Warnygora shot Shawn Michael Olthoff at a mobile home park in July.


A Carlton County sheriff's deputy was justified in shooting a suspect in Moose Lake in July, Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola announced Tuesday.

Sgt. Jason Warnygora shot 34-year-old Shawn Michael Olthoff at the Hillside Terrace Mobile Home Park at about 4:30 p.m. on July 29 as police were attempting to serve felony warrants. Olthoff survived the shooting.

Police used a flash-bang device, a non-lethal explosive, while entering the home, and at some point thereafter, Warnygora shot Olthoff, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension earlier reported. No one else was injured during the incident.

Citing a "close working relationship with local law enforcement," Ketola asked retired St. Louis County prosecutor Vern Swanum to conduct a legal review of Warnygora's actions. Swanum has conducted numerous such reviews for St. Louis County cases in recent years.

"Sgt. Warnygora made observations indicating to him that he and his teammates were about to take gunfire," Ketola said in a news release. "He fired two shots striking Olthoff. Life saving measures were immediately employed. Olthoff sustained non-fatal permanent injuries. Both County Attorney Ketola and attorney Swanum concluded that the use of deadly force by Sgt. Warnygora was necessary, justified and authorized under the law."


Ketola did not immediately release a more complete memorandum outlining the investigative reports and legal findings.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or
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