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Associated Press, Published August 15 2013

Officers fatally shoot man near Brainerd after deputy wounded

BRAINERD, Minn. — A man who refused to climb out of a tree stand was fatally shot by authorities after he shot and wounded a sheriff's deputy in rural Brainerd, investigators said.

Crow Wing County sheriff's dispatchers received a call around 1 p.m. Wednesday from Donald Peter Johnson, 50, asking that deputies be sent to his residence in St. Mathias Township. Deputies responding to the scene heard gunshots and eventually found Johnson, armed with a handgun, near the home in a tree stand, Sheriff Todd Dahl said.

Deputies negotiated with Johnson, who said he would surrender, put his gun down and started to come down from the tree. But then he suddenly began climbing the tree again with his gun, Dahl said.

A police dog went after Johnson, who turned around and started shooting at deputies. A veteran officer was struck in the arm and deputies returned fire, killing the man, the sheriff said.

Johnson's body will be sent to the medical examiner for an autopsy, Dahl said.

The deputy was treated at Essentia Heath-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd and released. The sheriff's office is withholding the deputy's name for now, the Brainerd Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/1dbdLlS).

"In this job, nothing is routine," Dahl said. "In my professional opinion, these guys did everything they could to try to get the suspect to surrender ... It is a tragic situation."

Neighbors said the man lived alone at the property where the shooting took place.

"He was always quiet, friendly and nice," neighbor Brian Gapinski told the newspaper. But, this weekend, he seemed nervous and agitated, Gapinski added.

The Brainerd and Baxter police departments and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension assisted in the case.

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Information from: The Daily Dispatch, http://www.brainerddispatch.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.