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Minnesota authorities mourn death of DNR officer

Eugene Wynn died after being thrown from a boat on Cross Lake Friday.
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Minnesota leaders are mourning a DNR conservation officer killed while responding to a call on Friday evening.

CO Eugene Wynn, 43, died after he was thrown from a boat on Cross Lake, east of Pine City, as he and a Pine County deputy responded to a call of a possible body in the water.

The deputy was rescued by colleagues who had rowed onto the lake to pull them from the water, but Wynn went under before they could get to him.

His body was recovered a short distance away in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Wynn, who is survived by his wife and two children, is the 22nd Minnesota conservation officer to die in the line of duty, and had served with the DNR since 2001.

Among those paying tribute is Gov. Tim Walz.

"Words can’t describe the sense of loss we feel at this time,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen in a statement. "Officer Wynn’s service to the state of Minnesota is a debt we can never repay."

Col. Rodmen Smith, DNR Enforcement Division director, added: “Officer Wynn served the Enforcement Division, the DNR, and the people of Minnesota with distinction. We’re devastated by his loss and ask the people of Minnesota to keep Officer Wynn and his family in their thoughts during this difficult time."

Several Minnesota law enforcement agencies have also been paying tribute on social media.

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