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Cherry man died of gunshot wound to heart

A gunshot wound to the chest fired by a Minnesota State Trooper killed 50-year-old Ronald Hannuksela during a confrontation in Eveleth Tuesday, according to the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office.

A gunshot wound to the chest fired by a Minnesota State Trooper killed 50-year-old Ronald Hannuksela during a confrontation in Eveleth Tuesday, according to the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office.

Hannuksela, of Cherry, was wanted by law enforcement authorities on three outstanding warrants.

Hannuksela was hit multiple times in his vehicle by shots fired by Minnesota State Trooper Bryan Carey after Hannuksela didn't comply with an order to exit his vehicle and brandished a .32-caliber six-shot revolver, according to authorities.

Hannuksela died from a fatal gunshot wound that perforated his heart, according to Dr. Donald Kundel, deputy St. Louis County medical examiner.

Hannuksela also received additional gunshot wounds, though Kundel would not say how many.

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"The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the heart," Kundel said Friday. "The other wounds were not of lethal effect."

Hannuksela in St. Louis County was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant of felon in possession of a firearm. In Carlton and Pine counties, he had outstanding felony warrants from a first-degree controlled substance crime. Hannuksela also had convictions for harassment, stalking and violating restraining orders.

Kundel said Hannuksela's death certificate would read that he died as a result of homicide, but whether it was justified homicide or not would be determined by a law enforcement investigation.

Carey, who authorities say recognized Hannuksela, stopped him in an area of Eveleth where his family members, the sheriff's office said.

The initial stop was made at 1:10 p.m. A 911 call for help from Carey came a few minutes later, said authorities.

Hannuksela was dead at the scene.

Authorities said the handgun that Hannuksela reportedly brandished appeared to be loaded.

The gun was later found on the seat of Hannuksela's vehicle and sent to a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension laboratory for testing.

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Pending an investigation, Carey has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard state patrol procedure.

Carey has received 10 letters of commendations during his work as a state trooper, according to the state patrol. Carey, 35, is a two-year veteran of the Virginia district of the Minnesota State Patrol.

The incident was captured on the video camera of Carey's squad car and is under review.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating.

When the investigation is complete, the case file will be forwarded to the St. Louis County Attorney's Office for review.

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