Man suspected of buying guns for New Hope shooter is arrested, released

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A man suspected of buying the shotgun used in this week's New Hope City Hall shooting was released from jail Friday, after prosecutors determined there was not enough evidence to press charges.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek confirmed Friday afternoon that a man arrested by deputies is suspected of buying guns for 68-year-old Raymond Kmetz, who then opened fire on police after a swearing-in ceremony Monday evening. Kmetz was killed when officers returned fire.

Kmetz, who had been hospitalized for treatment of mental illness, was prohibited from owning a firearm.

The sheriff's office called a Friday afternoon news conference at which Stanek described what investigators had learned about the purchase of Kmetz's gun. But, as KSTP reports, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman determined there was not sufficient evidence to charge the man.

FOX 9 cites unidentified sources in reporting that Stanek knew the suspect would not be charged when he went public with details about the investigation.

This embed is invalid

 The sheriff's investigation

Stanek said investigators found Kmetz, of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, had arrived at New Hope City Hall with three long guns and left two in his car while he carried out his attack.

The Star Tribune reports Stanek outlined the following path for the guns:

  • The Duluth Police Department sold them to an online auction house.
  • After Kmetz submitted the winning bid they were sent to a clearinghouse in Princeton.
  • The suspected straw buyer went there to pick them up and was the subject of the background check.

KSTP says the 42-year-old suspect reportedly admitted to investigators that he purchased the guns.

In a statement, the County Attorney's office said: "The evidence provided by law enforcement was insufficient to bring felony charges under state law so justice required that he be released."

The New Hope police officers injured in Monday's shooting were Joshua Eernisse and Beau Shoenhard. Both have been released from the hospital.

Meanwhile, New Hope is cleaning up the damage to its city hall, 12 News reports.

This embed is invalid

Next Up

Lost peacock

Anyone lose a peacock? One was found roaming in Champlin

If it's yours, Champlin PD would appreciate you let them know.

Screen Shot 2021-06-21 at 7.38.22 AM

Woman killed in Robbinsdale shooting identified, ex-husband the suspect

She was killed four days after she had gotten remarried.

Screen Shot 2021-06-20 at 9.21.00 AM

Updates on Minnesotans bidding for spots at the Summer Olympics

St. Paul's Suni Lee could qualify for the U.S. gymnastics team this week.

golf cart

Federal charges: Minnesota man stole 63 golf carts in 7 states

Nathan Rodney Nelson has been federally charged with transportation of stolen vehicles across state lines.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

1 dead, 1 wounded in separate St. Cloud shootings

Police say the fatal shooting was random, while in a separate incident a series of fights downtown preceded a teen's shooting.

Byron Buxton

Buxton, Kepler lead Twins to weekend sweep over Rangers

Kenta Maeda's solid outing on the mound gave the Twins a 4-2 victory.

storm, severe weather

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for south Minnesota, tornadoes possible

The watch area is just to the south of the Twin Cities.

ambulance

10 injured when minivans collide, overturn in west-central Minnesota

The incident occurred at the intersection of County Road 1 and County Road 29 in Kandiyohi County.

William Carlson

Nearly 80 years later, Minnesotan honored for WWII heroism

He defended a sinking passenger ship from a U-boat.

ambulance, crash

Pedestrian fatally struck by driver in Brooklyn Park

The identity of the victim has not been released.

Related