Guns, the Mentally Ill, and Law Enforcement


As this story shows, you never know who you will run into on any contact.

It was an early, crisp, frosty, fall Saturday morning, when dispatch called.

She said a man had been parked at the local gas station for the last eight hours and was “acting strangely.”

My first thought was, ‘Why didn’t someone call seven hours ago?’ I arrived at the station and saw the car parked at the far pump occupied by a lone male…

Do You Know Who This Is?
I went inside to talk to the cashier. She told me that the driver would fuel the car with small amounts of gas, come inside, pay and then return to the car. A while later, he would come inside, walk around for a time, buy food, and return outside.

This pattern had continued throughout the night. The car’s battery had apparently died when the driver left the ignition on but not run the car.

I didn’t take me too long to determine he had mental health issues. I got his driver’s license, ran it through dispatch. The name sounded familiar but both the car and the driver’s license were from an adjoining state.

The phone rang. It was the dispatcher. She told me this was the guy who had shot an officer in my town a number of years before.

For additional information:

About the author:

Duane has been a Minnesota Peace Officer since 1988, serving as patrolman, sergeant, S.R.T., Use of Force and Firearms Instructor, and is currently employed by the Parkers Prairie Police Department. He is also a full time instructor in the Law Enforcement Program at Alexandria Technical College, Alexandria, Minnesota. Duane has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Bemidji State University, and a Masters Degree in Education from Southwest State University. Duance has previously published articles on Calibre Press and IALEFI and served on the Advisory Board for Lt. Col. Dave Grossmans book, On Combat. Contact Duane Wolfe


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