Cops play basketball to support the family of a fallen Aitkin Co. deputy


Law enforcement officials gathered in a Mendota Heights high school Saturday for a basketball tournament. And it wasn't just any tournament, the games were played in honor of Aitkin County Investigator Steven Sandberg who was fatally shot last fall.

The incident happened last October at the St. Cloud Hospital.

Sandberg, 60, had been monitoring a suspect who was also a patient at the hospital. Then 50-year-old Danny Hammond is said to have started an altercation with the deputy.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says Hammond ultimately got a hold of Sandberg's gun and shot the officer.

Then a hospital guard used a Taser to subdue Hammond, and shortly after, Hammond died, officials reported.

Saturday's Ballin' in DC (Dakota County) games took place at the Henry Sibley High School and officers from several counties – including Stearns, Anoka, Dakota, St. Louis and Hennepin – came together to play and honor the fallen investigator, according to a news release.

In addition to the basketball tournament, the event featured raffles. The Dakota County Sheriff's Office says some items were donated by the Minnesota Wild, Vikings and Gophers.

All the proceeds will be given to the slain deputy's family.

This is the sixth annual event of its kind.

Previously, the games have been played to honor Mahnomen County Deputy Sheriff Christopher Dewey, Cold Spring Police Officer Thomas Decker, Lake City Police Officer Shawn Schneider, St. Paul Police Officer Joshua Lynaugh, (the money was given to the Minnesota chapter of C.O.P.S. in his honor) and Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick.

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