The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office identified the police officers injured in the shootings Monday night at New Hope City Hall as officer Joshua Eernisse and officer Beau Schoenhard. Channel 12 News confirmed that Eernisse was in fair condition at North Memorial Medical Center. He had just been sworn in at Monday night's council meeting before he was shot outside the council chamber.
On Tuesday, multiple media outlets identified the shooter as 68-year-old Raymond Kmetz, who court records show has a history of mental illness and run-ins with the law. Police shot and killed the suspect.
Officials have yet to say what Kmetz’s motive was but he did have ongoing issues with city officials and police officers. It’s unclear what role, if any, the past incidents had in Monday’s shooting.
"Get down, get down, everybody get down"
New Hope City Council video footage captured the chaos inside the city council chambers when shots were heard outside the chamber. The shootings occurred at 7:15 p.m., moments after officer Eernisse and officer Adam Johnson were sworn in and as the new officers and their colleagues exited the chambers.
Council member and licensed police officer John Elder can be heard yelling, "Get down, get down, everybody get down" as council members and attendees took cover. Elder was carrying his own weapon at the time of the incident.
"If this is being taped," Elder yells, "Go to commercial, go away from this."
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is in charge of the investigation. According to Deputy Chief Mike Carlson, the suspect used a "long gun" to shoot.
"Two officers were struck by the gunfire, other officers were able to return fire, subsequently killing the suspect," said Carlson.
Officers expected to make full recovery
Within minutes of the shooting, police from all over the northwest metro converged on city hall. They assured everyone there was no further threat to the public and that authorities were not looking for additional suspects. Deputy Chief Carlson said the two injured officers would make a full recovery.
Officer Joshua Eernisse, who was sworn in Monday night, was previously employed as a police officer in Mason City, Iowa. Officer Beau Schoenhard, who was attending the swearing-in ceremony, has been an officer with the New Hope Police Department since 2008.
New Hope City Hall remained closed while crews processed and cleaned up the crime scene. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is tentatively expected to release more details about the shooting Wednesday at an 11 a.m. press conference.
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