BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Sunday was not the first time Bradley Michael Olsen of Dresser, Wis., exchanged gunfire with police or tried fleeing arrest, police say. He was most recently jailed for doing so just five months earlier.
Investigators on Wednesday, April 21, identified the alleged carjacker caught on Minnesota Department of Transportation cameras trying to take over a vehicle at gunpoint and then fatally shot by Burnsville officers as the 30-year-old Olsen. It was in November that Olsen was jailed after exchanging gunfire with an Anoka County sheriff’s deputy after a pursuit with several law enforcement agencies then.
Olsen died Sunday, April 18, of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday. The manner of the death is homicide.
According to Minnesota court records, Olsen had a history of fleeing police in a motor vehicle. He was convicted of fleeing three times before — in Anoka County in 2013 and in Hennepin County and Ramsey counties in 2015 — and also had three pending cases in Dakota, Chisago and Hennepin counties when he was arrested in November for the same crime.
On Nov. 17, Olsen was charged in Sherburne County District Court with felony discharge of a firearm, use of deadly force against a police officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm and fleeing a police officer. Olsen was released from the Sherburne County Jail after posting a $250,000 bond and was scheduled to appear back in court May 12.
Olsen was killed about 3 p.m. Sunday on Minnesota 13 near the Interstate 35W overpass in Burnsville, after he bailed out of a moving car and then attempted to steal another vehicle, according to footage of the incident captured by traffic cameras.
Olsen shot at Burnsville officers numerous times before officers returned fire and fatally wounded him, according to Burnsville police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is leading the investigation.
No officers were injured.
Also Wednesday, the BCA released additional details about the shooting and what led up to it.
The agency said that four officers fired their weapons. The officers, who are on standard administrative leave, are:
- Dan Anderson, 22 years in law enforcement, fired his handgun.
- Sgt. Brent Murray, 19 years in law enforcement, fired his rifle.
- Paul Oelrich, 19 years in law enforcement, fired his rifle.
- Chris Walswick, 19 years in law enforcement, fired his handgun.
The BCA gave the following account:
A Burnsville police officer tried to pull over a truck with stolen plates about 2:45 p.m. Sunday. A short time later, the truck crashed into a vehicle at South Cross Drive and Buck Hill Road, but Olsen kept going a bit before getting out and running away.
Olsen then went into a restaurant in the 14000 block of Buck Hill Road, snatched a customer’s keys from a table and fled in a vehicle.
Officers spotted the stolen vehicle heading north on I-35W and a pursuit began. Olsen shot at pursuing officers several times, the BCA said.
Olsen took the Highway 13 East exit and at one point slowed the vehicle and jumped out. He ran from the entrance ramp onto Highway 13 and pointed a gun at an oncoming vehicle, whose driver then turned into the grass median to flee.
As Olsen attempted to flee the area, officers on the entrance ramp fired their guns, striking him. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he was pronounced dead.
The BCA said it will determine whether video from officer worn body cameras captured the incident. Burnsville police do not have squad-car dash cameras. Portions of the incident were captured on MNDOT traffic cameras.
The investigation is ongoing. The BCA said once the case is complete it will be sent to the Ramsey County attorney’s office for review.
According to a Sherburne County criminal complaint, Olsen and an Anoka County sheriff’s deputy exchanged gunfire during the Nov. 14 incident that began after a Sherburne County deputy stopped Olsen in St. Francis for failing to use his turn signal.
After making brief contact with Olsen and a woman in the passenger seat of the truck, Olsen drove away and a pursuit began. During the chase, Olsen shot at the deputy twice, charges allege. Dispatch also notified deputies that the woman reported Olsen had threatened to shoot her.
Olsen eventually lost control of the truck and crashed at an intersection in Livonia Township. He then shot at deputies, according to the complaint, and Anoka County Deputy Jeffrey Barrett fired back.
Deputies negotiated with Olsen and he eventually surrendered. Neither Olsen nor Barrett were injured, but Olsen was treated at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids for minor injuries sustained when his vehicle crashed.
In the truck, deputies found spent bullet casings and methamphetamine.
In a statement to BCA agents, Olsen said he fled from law enforcement because he thought he had warrants and did not want to return to jail. He also admitted shooting at officers during the pursuit to try and scare them into backing off.
The Sherburne County attorney’s office is reviewing the case to determine whether the Anoka County deputy’s use of force was justified, a BCA spokesperson said Wednesday.