Publish date:

Hennepin Co. sheriff's lieutenant mourned after unexpected death

"Lt. Kent Vnuk was a colleague, leader, and most importantly a friend to so many."
Lt. Kent M. Vnuk

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is in mourning following the sudden death of one of its own. 

On Friday, Sheriff David P. Hutchinson announced the passing of Lt. Kent Vnuk, who had been on the force for some 24 years:

According to the announcement, Vnuk, 52, served in a number of capacities during his tenure, including water patrol, court security, special operations and, most recently, the Adult Detention Division. 

Vnuk "touched many lives within the agency, especially those who volunteered their time as Special Deputies," the sheriff's office says. "Lt. Kent Vnuk was a colleague, leader, and most importantly a friend to so many. He will be dearly missed."

At the time of his death, which is described as a "medical emergency," the veteran lieutenant was at his sister's cabin "playing with his best bud Yeager," his dog, Vnuk's obituary says. 

He's described as having been a "dare-devil" in his youth "who loved all things outdoors" and "wasn't afraid to try anything."

According to his obituary, Vnuk dreamed of owning "acreage up north" as well as a catamaran in the near future. 

"He had an amazing work ethic and served the county with professionalism, integrity, and high, unwavering, moral standards." 

He's survived by two sisters, a brother, a stepson "and his loving dog Yeager."

Neither the sheriff's office nor the obituary goes into further detail about his cause of death. 

A funeral is set for 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 1, at Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center in Stillwater. 

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Wild, Kaprizov agree to 5-year deal

The contract will keep the star forward in Minnesota through the 2025-26 season.

Dunn County WI homicide suspect

Charges: Man who killed 4 friends, drove bodies to WI said he 'snapped'

Charges filed Tuesday reveal more details about the grisly case.

Edison high school wikimedia commons

Mpls. school goes to distance learning after students exposed to COVID

In-person classes will resume next month, the district said.

Mike Zimmer

Does Mike Zimmer's coaching style mesh with the Vikings' strengths?

Time for Zimmer to put all of his faith in the offense and try to win shootouts?

gray wolf

6 Wisconsin tribes sue to end upcoming wolf hunt

They cite treaty rights and a "disastrous February hunt."

St Paul Grill steak facebook

St. Paul Grill, closed since March 2020, announces reopening date

The dining room will open to all visitors again next month.

police lights

Charges: Man fled police at 127 mph, caused crash that injured officer

The Sept. 16 incident led to a police chase going the wrong way on Hwy. 169 near St. Peter.

Bar beer

3 Minnesota teens 'pistol whipped' at bar in Sioux Falls

Police are investigating the incident, including why the teens were at the bar.

Ben Simmons

The latest Ben Simmons drama 1 week from the start of training camp

Training camp opens Sept. 28, at which point things could get really crazy.

court gavel

Judge finds man guilty in Hibbing Christmas Day murder

Jerome Spann fatally shot Jeryel McBeth on Christmas Day 2018.


Body camera conference.

'Symbol of trust': Ramsey Co. sheriff rolls out body cams

It's the third largest Minnesota law enforcement agency to do so.

Twin Cities family seeking help after son dies of CO poisoning

He was a DREAMer and health care worker who had graduated college in December.

Screen Shot 2020-12-31 at 3.58.03 PM

Sheriff defends search of shooting victim's family home

Dolal Idd was fatally shot in a confrontation with Minneapolis police.

Kyle Imdieke of Osakis, Minnesota.

Community rallies around family of MN coach who died suddenly

Kyle Imdieke was a beloved educator at Osakis High School.

Jacobson family, Washington County

Community pitches in to help family following girl's tragic accidental death

Camilla C. Jacobson was the daughter of a Washington Co. sheriff's sergeant.

Walter Straka, World War II veteran.

Minnesota WWII veteran dies at 101 on Independence Day

Walter Straka was the state's last living Bataan Death March survivor.