MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 21-year-old Albert Lea man faces several attempted murder and assault charges for allegedly ambushing officers after he called in a report of hearing gunshots or fireworks. One officer and two other bystanders were struck by bullets in the incident.
According to Freeborn County court documents, Devin Weiland faces three first-degree attempted murder charges and three second-degree assault charges in connection to the Nov. 29 incident.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were first called to the Shady Oaks apartment complex on the 800 block of 4th Avenue South at about 2:18 a.m. after they received a report that fireworks or gunshots had been heard.
When they arrived, police say a shooter ambushed the officers by firing several rounds down from the third floor of the apartment complex to the parking lot. One of the officers was shot in the chest, while several rounds struck a squad car. The officer who was shot was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Two other victims were shot during the incident. One victim said he left the apartment after hearing noises, concerned for his vehicle. When he returned to the apartment, he was shot in the arm. Another victim who lives across the street was struck by a bullet through his car door as he was leaving for work. The second victim needed emergency surgery.
Three separate SWAT teams responded and engaged in a standoff with Weiland, who periodically fired at officers out the window of the third floor apartment. As officers attempted to evacuate the building, Weiland allegedly continued firing at officers and residents. Most residents were removed to safety.
Tear gas was deployed and, at some point, Weiland suffered an injury to his head and then surrendered to law enforcement, the complaint said. He was arrested and taken to the hospital.
In a later interview after he was released from the hospital, Weiland admitted to making a report regarding gunshots or fireworks in the area before the shooting. He admitted to firing about 75 rounds and said he thought police were going to take his guns, according to the complaint.
Weiland also said that he was sorry and wanted agents to convey that to the multiple shooting victims involved in the incident.
Authorities estimate that 90 rounds were fired during the standoff and say three rifles and a shotgun were seized from Weiland’s apartment.
If convicted, Weiland could face up to 20 years in prison per murder charge and up to seven years for each assault charge.
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