Attorney: Police justified in deadly shooting during hostage situation

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

The police officer who shot and killed a suspect in Virginia, Minnesota, in November has been cleared of any wrongdoing. 

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin announced Thursday that Officer Nicholas Grivna of the Virginia Police Department "was placed in a situation which necessitated the use of deadly force in the course of his work." 

Killed in the incident was J. Scot Alan Widmark, 41, of Virginia. 

Rubin came to the conclusion after reviewing a report from Vernon D. Swanum, an attorney who conducted the case review and presented his findings, which are detailed below. 

It was of Swanum's opinion that Officer Grivna "was facing a situation where a private citizen was in grave imminent danger of great bodily harm" during the Nov. 27, 2018 incident. 

Details of the hostage situation

The original 911 call was made by a woman at 5:01 p.m. who had run from her vehicle parked on the street in downtown Virginia when Widmark forced his way into the passenger seat and demanded she get out. 

The first officer arrived on scene at 5:07 p.m. to Widmark sitting in the woman's car, but then got out and pulled a large knife from his jacket and started walking towards him before running the opposite direction. 

The officer followed on foot as Widmark ran south on 3rd Avenue, then grabbing a man from behind who'd been walking in the same direction. Widmark placed the man in a headlock with his left arm and raised the large knife in his right hand. 

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter for the latest story updates

More law enforcement arrived on scene, including Grivna, who was armed with a rifle. 

Repeated attempts to get Widmark to lower his weapon and let the hostage go were unanswered and Widmark continued to back away from officers, with Grivna deciding he was out of options.

"Officer Grivna believed that unless he ended the situation that [hostage] would be stabbed," Swanum's report notes. 

The bullet struck Widmark in the right hand and then in the right cheek. 

Approximately four minutes passed between the shot and the time EMTs arrived to treat Widmark, who later died from his injuries. 

"I have concluded that officer Grivna displayed superb training, courage, restraint, compassion, and professionalism and his actions were justified, lawful and therefore authorized under the law," said Rubin. 

"He probably saved an innocent citizen's life." 

Next Up

Jaden McDaniels

Wolves lose to Magic on Cole Anthony's buzzer-beater

The Wolves blew a 20-point lead as the Magic defeated the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

J.A. Happ

Twins sign veteran J.A. Happ to add to the rotation

The left-hander will get a one-year, $8 million deal from the Twins.

storm the capitol rally st. paul minnesota state capitol

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among those at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.

Klobuchar

Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Osterholm affidavit ahead of George Floyd trial warns of COVID worsening in March

Prosecutors want to delay the Chauvin trial due to a public health threat.

Related

Mendota Heights bridge

Man shot dead by police after hostage situation on Mendota Bridge

The female victim wasn't seriously injured, police said.

1 dead in officer-involved shooting in Virginia, Minnesota

The suspect was shot and killed on Tuesday evening.

Bemidji police chief: Stop spreading rumors about deadly police shooting

A 34-year-old man was killed in the officer-involved shooting on Nov. 28.

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.

1 dead in officer-involved shooting in Brooklyn Center

Police responded to a domestic disturbance call around 4:20 p.m. Saturday.

Chaos in Hubbard County: 3 dead, deputy shot during chase

The suspect and two victims were killed in the incident.

16 year old shot dead by police in Chanhassen

The boy's mother called police saying her son was suicidal.

BCA identifies officers, suspect in fatal police shooting in Albert Lea

A 27-year-old man was killed in the encounter on Thursday.