Suspect fatally wounded in Little Falls standoffby Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
The Morrison County Government Center in Little Falls is expected to reopen today after a frightening incident yesterday.
Police officers shot and killed a man who took several hostages during a Morrison county commission meeting. It turns out the gunman had several disputes with the county in recent years.
Little Falls, Minn. — Law enforcement officials offered few details of the shooting Tuesday afternoon at a news conference outside the Morrison County Government Center in Little Falls.
Dave Bjerga with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said that's because BCA investigators were still inside the county building, investigating the crime scene.
"I'm not going to talk at all about the investigation, what I really don't want to do is misspeak or overstate something or give you bad information, because it is so preliminary," said Bjerga.
Here's what appears to have happened. A man snuck a gun into the county board room and pulled out the weapon during the commissioners regular weekly meeting. He held approximately 10 people hostage, according to the BCA, and then he ordered others in the meeting room to leave.
Bjerga says that's when the situation was first reported to the Morrison County Sheriff's office, which is housed in the same complex.
"There were two or three people that left the board room and one of them, the way I understand it, went to the sheriff's office and reported it verbally," explained Bjerga.
Three law enforcement officers went to the meeting room and ordered the man to drop his weapon.
"During this incident, the officers shot and wounded Gordon Kenneth Wheeler, 60, of Little Falls. He later died at St. Gabriel's Hospital in Little Falls," said Bjerga.
The officers who shot Gordon Wheeler included a state trooper, a lieutenant with the sheriff's department and Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel.
Wheeler had a long running feud with the county over two adult oriented businesses he owned. The county had shut down an adult bookstore and a strip club that Wheeler ran. Wheeler's strip club north of Little Falls was closed after it was found that Wheeler was offering prostitution at the site. Wheeler was convicted on charges of prostitution and spent time in jail.
Recently he sued the county and several employees, but the lawsuit was dismissed.
The Ramsey County Medical examiner will perform an autopsy on Wheeler. The BCA will lead the investigation into the incident.