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Minnetonka police name officers in fatal shooting of Austin man

Published 1:00pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Minnetonka police have identified the officers who fatally shot 27-year-old Michael Regner Tray of Austin last week.


The Star Tribune reports both officers have worked for the department for less than two years but have previous law enforcement experience.

Minnetonka police say James Comings has worked for the department for a year and a half after working for the U.S. Border Patrol. Ryan Smith has worked for the department for about 16 months, coming from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

The department said Tuesday that neither officer has had any citizen complaints or disciplinary action. It was the first officer-involved fatal shooting in Minnetonka history.

Tray was shot last Wednesday night in the underground garage of a suburban apartment complex after reports he was carrying a revolver.

Friends and family are confused and say Tray, “wasn’t that guy,” as he didn’t have any violent criminal convictions.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said Tray died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds. Police were called to the apartments after a resident said a man who didn’t live there had a cocked revolver. Police confronted Tray in the garage, where he was shot and killed.

Tray graduated from Austin High School in 2004 and St. Cloud University in 2013, with a BS in Bio-Medicine.

“We’re in shock,” said Jim Greer, Tray’s stepfather, last week. “We just don’t understand how this could’ve happened.”

Tray had been dealing with his father’s death in the past year and was handling the estate in Ottumwa, Iowa, where he found an antique .44 Magnum revolver. Greer suspects Tray brought the gun with him when he visited his girlfriend in Minnetonka so it wouldn’t be stolen, as there had been burglaries in the area. He wishes Tray would’ve left the gun in the car.

Longtime friend John Duren said the news was shocking for him, as well. He and Tray had been friends since third grade.

“I know him, and he wasn’t ‘that guy,’” Duren said last week. “I was shocked to hear that he even had a gun with him. I’m curious to find out more. It doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t add up.”

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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