ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Duluth police officer's trial set for January

After sides failed to reach a settlement, Tyler Leibfried, 29, will go to trial to determine if there was criminal negligence when he fired shots through an apartment door last fall, injuring a man.

FILE: Kingsley Heights Apartments
A man was shot and wounded by a Duluth police officer at Kingsley Heights Apartments in downtown Duluth on the night of Sept. 12, 2020. (File / News Tribune)

A January trial date was set Monday for a Duluth police officer charged with recklessly firing rounds into an apartment door last September, injuring one of the inhabitants.

Tyler Leibfried, 29, will go to trial Jan. 18, after sides could not reach a settlement.

“We’re working together; we just can’t resolve it,” Leibfried’s attorney, Paul Engh, told Judge Sally Tarnowski in a virtual hearing of the Duluth District Court.

Tyler Leibfried.jpg
Tyler Leibfried

ADVERTISEMENT

Leibfried, of Hermantown, will go to trial on charges of intentional and reckless discharge of a firearm in the nonfatal shooting of 23-year-old Jared Fyle at Kingsley Heights Apartments, 105 W. First St., on the night of Sept. 12, 2020.

PREVIOUSLY:

Leibfried was the first officer on the scene at a possible domestic disturbance call and was approaching Fyle's apartment when he reported hearing a loud noise he believed to be a gunshot. He responded by firing six shots through the door, wounding Fyle, who still has a bullet lodged in his back.
St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin is prosecuting the case, which is believed to be the first against a Duluth officer for a shooting.

After Monday's hearing, Rubin filed a motion with the court seeking the release of Duluth Police Department reports related to Leibfried firing his weapon.

The city has denied release of Duluth Police Department reports, calling the reports classified data and requiring a court order for the city to release the materials.

The two reports were filed in December by Sgt. Joel Olejnicak and Lt. Robert Shene, who have been notified as potential witnesses in the upcoming trial, court documents said. Under Rubin's request, copies of the reports would be marked confidential, viewable by the state and defense, but not filed with the court.

It’s possible the trial could be rescheduled to come sooner, if the calendar clears for Leibfried's attorney. Engh has handled numerous high-profile police shooting cases in Minnesota, and faces multiple trials this fall, he told the court.

“I should add Officer Leibfried would like a sooner trial,” Engh said. “We’re jammed up because of my schedule, not his.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Leibfried remains employed by the city, but is off-duty indefinitely. The city would not say if his status was paid or unpaid, telling the News Tribune on Monday that information was classified, citing state statute.

This story was updated at 12:52 p.m. July 19 to include information about the prosecution filing for the release of city reports. It was originally posted at 9:55 a.m. July 19.

Tyler Leibfried.jpg
Tyler Leibfried

Tyler Leibfried.jpg
Tyler Leibfried

What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.