Gun Used To Shoot New Hope Officers Was Once In Police Custody

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO investigates how a gun once in police custody was used to hurt two officers.

The shooting happened last month at New Hope City Hall, and the man responsible wasn’t even allowed to own guns.

Ray Kmetz used a Stoeger 12-gauge shotgun to shoot two New Hope police officers after a January swearing-in ceremony. Officers fired back, killing him.

Kmetz was not allowed to own a weapon because of mental illness, but police say he had two additional shotguns in his car. WCCO tracked how he got all three.

The Stoeger was seized in 2012 after Duluth police found a few guys firing it near a neighborhood.

A sawed-off shotgun was taken into evidence the same year as part of an investigation into a domestic situation.

The other was confiscated in 2006.

Duluth Police sold the three weapons to KBID, an online auction site, for a total of $372.75.

“That just adds to the intrigue of this overall story,” Hennepin County Rich Stanek said.

Stanek says Kmetz bid on the shotguns, and a friend picked them up for him. Stanek’s department does not sell confiscated weapons.

“We just think that’s a risk, a public safety risk, not worth taking,” Stanek said.

Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says his department will not transfer any more weapons to auction sites until “higher-level policy discussions take place.”

“The New Hope incident is yet another example of why we need to develop sound strategies to keeping weapons from individuals who are ineligible to lawfully possess them,” Ramsey said.

In the past two years, Duluth Police have sold 46 guns.

WCCO checked with a few Twin Cities departments about their policies. Minneapolis and St. Paul police, along with Hennepin and Ramsey County sheriff’s offices do not sell guns.

Any they confiscate are either kept by the department or destroyed.

More from Jennifer Mayerle
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