Deputies who fatally shot 19-year-old in northern Minnesota decline BCA interview

Body cameras were not worn and dash cameras didn't capture the incident.
Publish date:

Two deputies in northern Minnesota who fatally shot a 19-year-old accused of shoplifting have declined to be interviewed by agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). 

The BCA is leading the investigation of the incident, which happened Dec. 5 in Mountain Iron after authorities were called to a business on the 8400 block of Enterprise Drive North on a report of a shoplifter. 

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, 19-year-old Estavon Dominick Elioff, of Virginia, Minnesota, refused police commands and fled on foot. During the search, it was learned that Elioff matched the description of a man wanted in connection to a drive-by shooting in Virginia. 

An hour after setting up a perimeter and searching for the 19-year-old, Elioff was found by deputies and K9 officers in a wooded area. The sheriff's office said Tasers were deployed but at "one point" during the incident two deputies discharged their firearms, fatally striking Elioff. 

The deputies who fired their weapons were identified Tuesday by the BCA: 

  • Deputy Ryan Smith: 11 years with the St. Louis County Sheriff Office.
  • Deputy Matt Tomsich: 12 years with the St. Louis County Sheriff Office.

"Both deputies Tomsich and Smith have declined to be interviewed by BCA agents," the BCA release said. "Attorneys for the deputies provided unsolicited written reports from the officers to the BCA on Tuesday."

The press release from the sheriff's office did not say if Elioff was armed, though the BCA says a knife was recovered from the scene. 

The BCA's update to its investigation notes that St. Louis County Sheriff's Office deputies do not wear body cameras and dash cameras did not capture the incident, and there were no witnesses to the shooting. 

Both deputies are on standard administrative leave. 

Latest forecast from Novak Weather

Next Up


Walz: No state-issued curfew Tuesday night

Local municipalities can declare their own curfews.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota advises health providers pause Johnson & Johnson vaccines

Federal health officials have recommended the pause to review treatment of an extremely rare blot clot.

Target Field Twins

Twins will play Tuesday; doubleheader set for Wednesday

Fans at Wednesday's first game can stay for the second game for free.

Pope Francis

Minnesota bishop resigns at the request of Pope Francis

Pope Francis accepted Rev. Michael Hoeppner's resignation Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 12.05.47 PM

Washington County to decide charges against officer who killed Daunte Wright

Hennepin County Mike Freeman sent the case to Washington County per a new practice among metro area county attorneys.

covid, vaccine

Faribault, Martin counties struggle to fill vaccine appointments

The counties have opened up appointments to nonresidents.

Daunte Wright

GoFundMe for Daunte Wright raises more than $250K

The fundraiser generated a quarter of a million dollars in a little over a day.

protest, Daunte Wright

Police and protesters clash, arrests made after more unrest in Brooklyn Center

Police once again used tear gas, flash bangs, and 'less-lethal' ammunition on protesters.

Screen Shot 2021-03-03 at 2.01.04 PM

U.S. recommends pausing Johnson & Johnson vaccines to review rare blood clot

There have been six reports of blood clots of the 6.8 million vaccines given.

protest, Daunte Wright

LIVE UPDATES: Protesters, police clash in Brooklyn Center

Tracking Monday night's clashing between law enforcement and demonstrators.


police tape, crime scene

BCA: Carjacking suspect shot himself, wasn't killed by MN deputy

The incident happened Friday evening in a rural area west of Duluth.

police tape, crime scene

Man, 19, fatally shot by police on the Iron Range

The man was allegedly linked to a shoplifting incident, and an earlier drive-by shooting.

police lights

Man fatally shot by deputy on I-35 identified as 25-year-old

Anthony Michael Legato was shot during an encounter on Interstate 35 with the Pine County Sheriff's Office.

duluth police department

BCA investigators say Duluth cop shot through door, striking man

The incident happened Saturday, Sept. 12 at an apartment in Duluth.

Grand Casino Hinckley

Suspect fatally shot by deputy on I-35 after incident at casino

Deputies were responding to an alleged domestic incident at the Hinckley casino,.

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 11.58.53 AM

Man arrested after firing multiple shots at deputies, who didn't shoot back

Despite being shot at multiple times, deputies used less lethal force.

police lights

No charges against officers who fatally shot suspect after raft standoff

The 24-year-old suspect allegedly fired shots at numerous law enforcement officers.