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Armed robbery suspect shot dead by law enforcement on Minnesota River identified as 24-year-old

The 24-year-old is accused of firing on police first.

Authorities have identified the man who died during an exchange of gunfire with police  on the Minnesota River north of Mankato on Saturday, April 18. 

Austin D. Heights, 24, died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office. Heights had no permanent address, the release said.

Citing dispatch audio, the Star Tribune reports that the incident started after Heights carried a long gun in a white garbage bag into a BP Expressway along Hwy. 169 and stole beef jerky and a drink. 

Heights was found a short time later in a raft on the Minnesota River, at which point he's accused of firing shots at police. Police returned fire, fatally striking him.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has not identified officers who fired their weapons, but plans to do so once interviews are complete. 

Law enforcement that responded to the scene included police departments from Mankato, North Mankato and St. Peter, in addition to sheriff's officers from Blue Earth, Nicollet and Le Sueur counties, the State Patrol, DNR and the Minnesota River Valley Tactical Response Team. 

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