ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) – More information is being released on the shooting death of an Aitkin County deputy this weekend.
Deputy Steven Sandberg, 60, had been guarding 50-year-old Danny Hammond at St. Cloud Hospital.
Hammond had been charged with assault and kidnapping, but was in the hospital after trying to commit suicide.
Investigators say he somehow got hold of Sandberg’s gun and fatally shot the deputy. Sandberg was 24-year veteran of the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Hospital security guards responded and tasered Hammond. He later died in the hospital’s emergency room.
One week before the shooting, Hammond was accused of holding his wife of 12 years captive at gunpoint. She managed to escape and call police.
According to the report, she had visible injuries, including cuts and swollen body parts.
Last Monday, the same day Hammond’s wife filed the report, police found him at the couple’s home unresponsive and he was transported to St. Cloud Hospital.
At that time, Hammond was in critical condition, believed to be the result of an attempted suicide.
Later that day, the Aitkin County Attorney’s Office filed a complaint, charging Hammond with a number of offenses related to that domestic situation. Hammond remained in the ICU at St. Cloud hospital.
Last Thursday, As Hammond’s condition started to improve, the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office began monitoring Hammond at the hospital.
Sandberg was nearing the end of his overnight guard shift over Hammond when the shooting happened.
Investigators say Hammond was not restrained to his bed, grabbed Sandberg’s gun and fired repeatedly.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says other security officers responded, tasered Hammond and took him into custody.
Hammond later died, likely from cardiac arrest.
Hammond, of rural Aitkin County, had a criminal history that spanned decades.
Charges includes felony convictions for trying to escape custody in 1990 and making terroristic threats.
Sandberg leaves behind a wife and daughter.
Hammond’s wife, the victim in the assault and kidnapping case, released a statement after the shooting.
“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.”