Officer Shooting in Sauk Centre

Suspect who stole vehicle hits officer with target arrow

By Ben Sonnek

A Stearns County Police officer was injured this morning when a suspect, fleeing police, fired a target arrow from a compound bow into the officer’s forearm. The suspect was then shot by police and later apprehended.

According to Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson, earlier in the morning of Thursday, Sept. 13, Osakis police received a call about a stolen black pickup truck tearing through the neighborhoods. The vehicle jumped onto the freeway with officers in pursuit and entered Sauk Centre around 10 a.m., driving through multiple backyards and crashing into parked vehicles. The vehicle sped through a residential neighborhood and smashed through a garage on 10th Street. The suspect, described as a 31-year-old male, entered the house through an unlocked door. Nobody was in the house at the time.

Deputy Paul Orvis was inside clearing the house with several officers when the suspect appeared at the top of the stairs on the second floor. Using a compound bow belonging to the homeowner, he shot Deputy Orvis in the arm with one of the bow’s six arrows. Officers fired their weapons at the suspect, hitting him in the left shoulder and buttocks and grazing his hand.

Sauk Centre officers and multiple additional agencies were on the scene. SWAT Team negotiators communicated with the suspect from downstairs to the second floor, where the suspect told officers that he had been shot. After nearly two hours of negotiations, the suspect appeared at the top floor where he was apprehended with a stun gun by officers and taken into custody. He was taken by ambulance to the Sauk Centre Hospital. From there he was transported by Life Link Helicopter to the St. Cloud Hospital for further treatment.

Deputy Orvis was last reported to be in surgery to remove the arrow in his forearm and for the treatment of a possible broken arm. The hospital has currently listed him in good condition. Orvis is a 17-year veteran with the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and has been a member of the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force.

No injuries were reported other than Deputy Orvis and the suspect.

The name of the suspect will not be released until after charges are filed. It is unclear at this time as to the suspect’s motives, including his reasons for erratic driving.

The St. Cloud Police Department will be handling the assault investigation of Deputy Orvis, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation will handle the shooting investigation. Search warrants and crime scene investigation also will be conducted.

There was no immediate threat to the general public, but Sauk Centre Schools remained in lockdown until shortly after 1 p.m.

“Law enforcement response was wonderful,” Gudmundson said. “We were well coordinated. We felt like this ended as well as it could have.”