Minnesota man to face 10-year sentence for shooting at policeArea News
-- A St. Paul Park man who was suicidal and heavily intoxicated as he sprayed gunfire at police during an hours-long standoff last summer will receive a 10-year prison sentence.
By: Scott Wente , Pierce County Herald
A St. Paul Park man who was suicidal and heavily intoxicated as he sprayed gunfire at police during an hours-long standoff last summer will receive a 10-year prison sentence.
Nathan A. Kluessendorf, 23, reached a plea deal with prosecutors and will be sentenced in November for three felony charges stemming from his shootout with local police and SWAT team members last year at his family’s St. Paul Park home.
Kluessendorf entered a Norgaard plea Aug. 30 to three charges of using deadly force against a peace officer. A Norgaard plea is used when someone is intoxicated to the point they cannot recall events or their actions but believe a jury would still find them guilty, said Fred Fink, criminal division chief for the Washington County Attorney’s Office.
Kluessendorf is being held in the Washington County jail until sentencing. He is still recovering from injuries sustained when he was shot by police to end the tense, early morning standoff.
The Aug. 2, 2011, episode started with a police call to 1049 Summit Ave., to respond to a suicidal man who had returned from nearby railroad tracks. Two St. Paul Park officers entered the home, heard yelling and found a man, later identified as Kluessendorf, on the floor of a bedroom with a long-barreled rifle. Kluessendorf swore at an officer as he pumped the shotgun to load a round, according to court records.
The officer yelled to others that Kluessendorf was armed and they left the home and took up positions in the yard. Police attempted to calm down Kluessendorf by talking to him over the phone and urging him to listen to a friend who was in the home with him, but Kluessendorf did not comply and raised the possibility of shooting his friend in the head, according to the criminal complaint.
Kluessendorf’s friend and others in the home eventually got out, but Kluessendorf remained inside with his mother. Washington County Special Response Team members were called to assist and officers surrounded the home. After police repeatedly tried to get Kluessendorf to surrender, he started firing at three officers who were positioned behind bullet-proof shields in the yard. A Washington County sheriff’s deputy who was in the yard later described hearing bullets pass within inches of them and that some “whizzed” over their heads.
“What he was doing was periodically he was standing in the doorway and laying rounds out over the officers’ heads,” Fink said.
Kluessendorf yelled and swore at the officers, telling them he was going to kill all of them.
At one point Kluessendorf’s mother threw two guns from the home and she then exited, leaving Kluessendorf inside. The standoff lasted nearly five hours after the initial police call. It ended when authorities fired tear gas into the home and a Cottage Grove police officer who is an expert marksman shot and injured Kluessendorf.
“He apparently wanted to commit suicide and ultimately the police were called and during the standoff he was shot and severely wounded” after firing repeatedly at officers, Fink said.
First District Judy Mary Hannon is scheduled to formally sentence Kluessendorf Nov. 2 in Washington County District Court.