Aitkin Co. sheriff's deputy fatally shot at St. Cloud Hospital; suspect also died

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A suspect being treated at St. Cloud Hospital fatally shot a sheriff's deputy early Sunday morning, officials said Sunday. The suspect also died.

Aitkin County Sheriff's Deputy Steven Sandberg, 60, 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 – identified as 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.

A hospital security guard used a Taser to subdue Hammond. Shortly after, Hammond become unresponsive and died, despite lifesaving efforts, officials note.

Hammond, who was the suspect in a domestic incident, was being treated for medical reasons at the hospital. The deputy was there to monitor the suspect at the request of St. Cloud Hospital.

According to the Forum News Service, Hammond was not under arrest and was not in handcuffs.

Hammond had been convicted on several felony crimes committed in Aitkin County, according to the Forum News Service, including escaping from custody and terroristic threats in 1990, and burglary in 1989.

The incident was confined to the suspect's hospital room, the BCA says. No other patients or personnel were injured.

Sandberg was a 24-year veteran with the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office, and leaves behind a wife and daughter. He was a 1976 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, according to the Forum News Service.

Gov. Mark Dayton released a statement Sunday afternoon, saying he "deplored" the senseless killing of Sandberg.

"On behalf of all Minnesotans, I extend my deepest condolences to his family," said Dayton. "This tragedy reminds us that Minnesota's law enforcement officers risk their lives every day and night to keep us safe.”

A procession of squad cars escorted Sandberg's body from the hospital to Ramsey County for an autopsy Sunday afternoon.

Some tweets from the scene:

The St. Cloud Hospital is part of CentraCare Health, an integrated health care system that formed in 1995, according to its website.

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