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Suspect, officers in Columbia Heights shooting identified


The suspect fatally shot by police in Columbia Heights Tuesday, and the two officers involved in the incident, have been identified.

The county medical examiner ruled Wednesday 45-year-old Michael Gerald Ray Kirvelay, of Montrose, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Kirvelay, according to a Minnesota Department of Public Safety news release, was at a business on the 700 block of 40th Avenue NE in Columbia Heights around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police had been called to the scene on a report of a man with a gun.

Investigators on Tuesday afternoon said the suspect at one point showed a weapon and was threatening people.

Police called for backup, and officers from Columbia Heights and Fridley responded. The man refused repeated orders to show his hands, according to the release, and at one point officers fired their weapons, hitting him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The two officers who fired their weapons during the incident were identified by the Department of Public Safety Wednesday morning as:

  • Sgt. Erik Johnston – 13 years with Columbia Heights Police Department
  • Officer Shawn Murphy – One year with the Fridley Police Department

Both are on standard administrative leave, according to the release.

Investigators with the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension collected evidence, which includes body camera footage, according to the department's release.

The investigation is ongoing, and when it's complete, it'll be turned over to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office to be reviewed for possible charges (which is standard procedure).

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