Duluth police officer charged in shooting of unarmed man now 'off duty indefinitely'

The 28-year-old veteran fired multiple shots through the victim's apartment door.
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A 28-year-old Duluth police officer who was charged Nov. 30 for shooting a man through a door is now off duty indefinitely, according to a release from the police department. 

Duluth PD completed an administrative review of the Sept. 12 officer-involved shooting and found that officer Tyler Leibfried's "actions were contrary" to the department's "policies and training guiding use of force," the release states. 

Leibfried, a Hermantown resident who has been on the Duluth force for five years, is charged with two felonies – intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers safety of another, and reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality. 

"Tyler Leibfried’s conduct fails the 'objective reasonable officer' standard in that it was not an objectively reasonable use of deadly force," St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said Nov. 30, noting that his actions were not justifiable under state law.

According to the criminal complaint, Leibfried responded to a possible physical domestic assault at the Kingsley Heights Apartments in Duluth.

When he arrived, he encountered a woman who said she had gotten into an argument with her boyfriend, Jared Fyle, in apartment 301, and wanted an escort into the apartment to get her belongings, charges state. She emphasized she wasn't assaulted and wasn't hurt.

Another officer – Cory Lindsholm – arrived and they determined there wasn't probable cause for an arrest, but they would treat it as a civil matter and assist the girlfriend with getting her belongings, the complaint says.

With their body cameras recording, the officers made their way to apartment 301. When Leibfried was about to knock on the door, they heard two loud noises described as a bang or firearm report sound from inside, charges say. Neither officer had announced themselves.

Leibfried radioed "shots fired" and fired four rounds from his duty pistol into the doorway and then a second later he heard a voice yell "stop, stop, stop!" and "Stop, please stop. Ow."

Leibfried didn't respond but then fired two more shots. The voice from inside the apartment then yelled "Stop, stop, please stop," "I've been shot, please stop," and "Open the door," charges say.

Leibfried stopped firing and radioed for medical help. On the body camera footage, Officer Lindsholm can be heard shouting "Tyler, Tyler, where you at? Get back here." Lindsholm didn't fire any shots.

Additional back-up officers responded to the scene, who instructed Fyle to come out of the apartment. They learned Fyle suffered a bullet wound to the back and was bleeding, the complaint says. He was brought to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

Inside the apartment, there was no evidence that anyone but Leibfried fired a weapon, the complaint says.

In an interview with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) on Sept. 13, Fyle said about 20 minutes after his girlfriend left, he went to lock the door, kicking it to make sure it was closed, charges state. When he turned to walk away, he heard someone yell "shots fired" and then gunshots came through the door, hitting him.

On Sept. 15, Leibfried spoke with BCA investigators, saying his intent was to go to the apartment, speak to Fyle and retrieve some of the girlfriend's belongings.

Lindsholm told BCA investigators he didn't fire his gun because "I didn't know for sure where the shots came from, so I wasn't going to start putting rounds into this apartment just on a guess," charges state.

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