ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) – Official documents paint a dark picture surrounding the circumstances that led 50-year-old Danny Hammond to St. Cloud Hospital, where he shot and killed an Aitkin County investigator over the weekend.
Hammond killed 60-year-old Steven Sandberg, who had been assigned to monitor him overnight Sunday. Authorities say Hammond got hold of Sandberg’s gun and shot him several times.
Responding officers used a stun gun to shock Hammond, and he died shortly after, likely from cardiac arrest.
Court documents filed last week in Aitkin County show that Hammond had a long and troubled relationship with his wife, who says he tormented her for 25 years.
Instigators say that his wife told him she was leaving him on Oct. 10. In response, Hammond locked the doors and removed the handles from the windows of their rural Aitkin County home.
He reportedly said that they would be together until “death do we part.”
His wife told authorities he forced her to eat food laced with rat poison. She said that when she tried to escape, Hammond dragged her back inside the house by her hair.
She said Hammond forced her to spend the night next to him, while he played with a loaded pistol, pointing it at himself and at her.
The next morning, she said Hammond let her go to her father’s house. There, her father called 911, and authorities, including Sandberg, took her statement.
Prosecutors revealed on Monday that Hammond was facing 11 felony charges in connection with tormenting his wife.
Oct. 12, Hammond was found near death inside his home of an apparent suicide attempt.
He was rushed to St. Cloud Hospital where deputies, including Sandberg, monitored him closely.
Then came Sunday, when Hammond shot Sandberg and died shortly after.
In a statement, Hammond’s wife said she is praying for Sandberg’s family.
“My son and I are so very sad over the terrible circumstances of Deputy Sandberg’s death,” the statement said.”Our foremost thoughts are for his family. Please, please, know that our prayers are not for my son and I, but are for the family of Deputy Sandberg.”