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Funeral is Friday for Aitkin County sheriff's deputy Steven Sandberg


Arrangements have been finalized for the funeral of Aitkin County Sheriff's Deputy Steven Sandberg, who was killed in the line of duty early Sunday morning.

Members of the public will have several opportunities to pay their respects during the services in Aitkin on Thursday and Friday.

Sandberg, 60, was fatally shot early Sunday morning by a suspect in a domestic abuse case who was being treated at St. Cloud Hospital.

A news release from the state Department of Public Safety has details on the services. Here are the main points.

Thursday, October 22 – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Aitkin United Methodist Church
104 2nd St. NW, Aitkin

Friday, October 23 –11 a.m.
Aitkin High School
306 2nd St. NW, Aitkin.

Friday October 23 – following the funeral service
Bennettville Cemetery
County Rd. 11, Bennettville
(9 miles South of Aitkin)

As is typically the case for law enforcement funerals, thousands of police officers from across the state and region are expected to attend.

The public is invited to attend the visitation as well as the funeral, although seating at the funeral will be limited. Members of the public should use the school’s north entrance.

People who live near Aitkin High School are being told to expect a parking crunch for several square blocks in the neighborhood Friday morning.

Following the funeral, two processions will make their way south on Highway 169, then west on County Road 11 to Bennettville Cemetery.

The first procession will include law enforcement and other public safety agencies. The second procession, which will include Sandberg's family and Sandberg's remains, will follow about 20 minutes later.

The public is encouraged to show their support along the procession route.

The shooting

Sandberg was monitoring the welfare of a suspect who was a patient at the hospital when the incident occurred around 5:15 a.m. Sunday, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says.

The suspect – 50-year-old Danny Hammond – got out of his hospital bed and started an altercation with Sandberg, in which he gained control of Sandberg’s weapon and shot him, the BCA says.

Hammond was subdued by a security officer with a stun gun, and he died a short time later.

Hammond was being treated in the hospital for an apparent suicide attempt. He was suspected of abusing his wife and threatening to kill her several days earlier.

Support for the family

Sandberg was a 24-year veteran with the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, and leaves behind a wife and 19-year-old daughter. Sandberg grew up in Aitkin, and was a 1976 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead.

A memorial fund has been set up for the family. Donations can be sent to: Sandberg Benefit, Members Cooperative Credit Union, 18 1st Street NE, Aitkin, MN 56431.

FOX 9 spoke with Sandberg's daughter Cassie, who said her father loved the tight-knit community of Aitkin.

"My dad was so proud to do his job and serve his entire community,” she said.

Cassie Sandberg, a freshman at MSU Moorhead, said she and her mother are coping thanks to their faith and the support of many others.

“We are completely in awe by the outpouring of love and support that we felt from our community, our state, and from around the entire nation,” she told FOX 9.

Here's the video of that interview.

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