Customers and employees were inside a Brooklyn Park Walmart when police and a shoplifting suspect exchanged gunfire in the store's parking lot on Monday, March 16.
Details of the officer-involved shooting were released in a criminal complaint that charges 32-year-old James Klein, of Chaska, with two counts of first-degree assault of a peace officer and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Shots were fired around 12:05 p.m. at the Walmart located in the 8000 block of Lakeland Ave. North on Monday. According to the criminal complaint, two officers responded to the Walmart on a report of a shoplifter who purchased a large amount of ammunition and was wearing a holster.
Upon arrival, the officers located Klein in the parking lot. Body-worn cameras show that Klein had a hand in his pocket and ignored an officer's command to stop, then he took his hand out of his pocket and walked away.
Klein kept walking away despite numerous commands to stop, prompting the officer to use a Taser on Klein, which had minimal effect. Klein then ran between parked vehicles and shot at the officer, who returned fire, according to the complaint.
Klein still had his gun drawn when the other officer ran after him and shot him in the leg and hand. Klein fell to the ground and was taken to to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale for injuries that are not life-threatening.
Klein was scheduled to make his first appearance in Hennepin County District Court on Thursday, but was still receiving treatment at the hospital.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) identified the police officers as Charles Cudd (14 years with Brooklyn Park PD) and Dane Lazenberry (1 year with Brooklyn Park PD). Neither was shot during the gunfire exchange.