DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A Duluth police officer was acquitted in the fatal 2020 shooting of an unarmed man through the closed door of the victim’s apartment.
Officer Tyler Leibfried, 30, had been charged with felony intentional discharge of a firearm, and also felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in the Sept. 12, 2020 incident.READ MORE: Duluth Police Officer Tyler Leibfried 'Off Duty Indefinitely' After Internal Review
The prosecutor argued that Leibfried shot the unarmed Jared Fyle through the closed door of his apartment, telling jurors the defendant repeatedly fired his weapon even as he heard the victim begging for his life. Prosecutor Aaron Welch told jurors Tuesday that Leibfried had time to think and made a choice to shoot again and again.
But Leibfried’s attorney, Paul Engh, told the jury the officer was defending himself against what he believed to be the sound of gunshots.
The jury reportedly deliberated for about three hours before finding the officer not guilty on both counts.
“The jury took the case seriously, deliberated thoughtfully, and rendered a verdict in accordance with the facts as they found them and the law as given to them by the Court. The St. Louis County Attorney’s Office respects the jury’s decision and will continue to work diligently, alongside our partners in law enforcement, for the good of everyone in our community,” said St. Louis County Attorney Kim Maki.
Fyle was treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder, but survived his injuries.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)