Publish date:

Fatal shooting of man who killed police K-9 in Duluth was justified, county attorney says

The incident happened in February.
Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 10.13.27 AM

More than five months after a police K-9 and a suspect died during a lengthy standoff in Duluth, the county attorney has ruled that law enforcement's use of deadly force against the man was justified. 

Saint Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin announced the ruling Thursday, saying "Duluth police officers and St. Louis County deputies were placed in a situation which necessitated the use of deadly force in the course of their work." 

The incident took place Feb. 25-26 at a house on the 2300 block of West Fourth Street in Duluth, where 37-year-old David Joseph Wayne Conwell barricaded himself for approximately 19 hours, authorities said.

Police were responding to a report of a "physical domestic" incident, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, with Conwell allegedly refusing to surrender. At one point, police sent a K-9 after Conwell, but Conwell fatally shot the dog. 

"He then subsequently discharged his sawed-off shotgun three more times notwithstanding continuing demands for him to show his hands, drop his weapon, and surrender," Rubin stated. 

Four Duluth officers returned fire, though none of those shots struck Conwell. 

According to Rubin, the standoff ended when two members of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office shot Conwell as he was "still holding his sawed-off shotgun in his hand and refusing to comply with any orders." 

Next Up

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.

police lights

Man charged with manslaughter after fistfight ends in death

The incident happened at a veterans housing complex in Chisholm.


Ellison reaches $1.9M settlement with StubHub over COVID cancellations

The ticket reselling giant will pay $1.87 million in refunds for Minnesota events.

Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen injured in car accident after swerving to miss a deer

Griffen was involved in the crash Thursday on his way to work.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 8.30.16 AM

DPS sparks furore with 'not reaching' pouches designed to stop police shootings

The pouches were developed in collaboration with Valerie Castile, whose son Philando was fatally shot by police while reaching for his permit-to-carry.

police lights

Maintenance worker finds 2 bodies in West St. Paul garage

It's unclear how long the bodies were in the garage before being discovered.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

Tree branch falls on tent in Mankato, killing 4-year-old girl

The tree branch fell at approximately 2:30 a.m.


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.

Ronald Davis

Use of force 'justified' in fatal police shooting of Ronald Davis

The 31-year-old was holding a knife in his hand when he was shot dead.

duluth police department

BCA investigators say Duluth cop shot through door, striking man

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

Attorney: Police justified in deadly shooting during hostage situation

The fatal police shooting took place in the city's downtown on Nov. 27.

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.