Update: Suspect arrested in Albert Lea shooting
Published 7:20 am Sunday, November 29, 2020
Authorities have arrested a 21-year-old man who allegedly shot three people, including one officer, at Shady Oaks Sunday morning.
Police stated the man arrested is Devin Matthew Weiland of Albert Lea. Police had been in a standoff with Weiland for 8 1/2 hours when he was arrested at 10:48 a.m.
The shelter-in-place order that has been in place much of the morning has been lifted.
Police were dispatched to Shady Oaks, 800 S. Fourth Ave., at 2:18 a.m. today on a report of a possible noise complaint or weapons violation. It was reported that fireworks or gunshots were heard.
When an Albert Lea officer responded, the suspect reportedly ambushed the officer, shooting multiple times and striking the officer once in the chest and the squad car at least twice.
The 30-year-old officer was able to relocate to a safe zone, assess possible injuries and drove himself to the emergency room at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, according to a press release. He was treated and released.
A 52-year-old Albert Lea man was transported by Mayo Clinic Ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and flown by helicopter to Rochester, and a 38-year-old Albert Lea man was transported to the Albert Lea hospital. Police stated one of the men who was shot was on his way to work.
Some Shady Oaks residents were relocated to United Methodist Church for safety and others were sheltering in place in their apartments as police negotiated with the alleged shooter. Residents nearby were asked to stay in their homes.
John Mitchem, United Methodist Church pastor, who also serves as the chaplain for the Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, said Sunday morning over 40 residents from the apartment complex were at the church.
“We believe we are able to be a blessing to the community in a time of need,” Mitchem said.
Several churches had also called to see how they could help. Food and coffee were brought in for the people, and Mitchem said they would provide shelter as long as needed.
“It’s church being able to bring lightness into people’s darkness,” he said.
The South Central Drug Investigative Unit SWAT team, along with neighboring SWAT teams from Mankato and Austin responded, along with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Albert Lea Fire Department and Mayo Clinic Ambulance. According to Austin Police Chief David McKichan, the APD’s overnight shift was monitoring radio traffic from the ALPD when it heard about an active shooter event going on at about 3 a.m. on Sunday.
“We immediately responded via mutual aid by sending a SIRT (Special Incident Response Team) officer and our armored Humvee to Albert Lea,” he said. “We then assembled the rest of the joint Austin/Mower SIRT and they responded to Albert Lea.”
McKichan said about nine members of the APD’s SIRT, along with the Humvee regular SIRT vehicle, responded to Albert Lea and assisted with containment, evacuation and perimeter duties. APD SIRT members were able to return to Austin at about 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“I spoke with a SIRT supervisor who responded,” McKichan said. “He stated that all responding agencies worked well together, that the Albert Lea Police did an outstanding job in handling this incident, and this incident was as dangerous and intense as anything he can recall responding to in his career.”
— Michael Stoll contributed to this story