Use of deadly force in police shooting of Brent Alsleben deemed justified

New Aubrun, MN–The Sibley County Attorney determined that three officers who shot and killed a man who family members say was suffering from a mental health crisis were justified in their use of deadly force.

Officers Taylor Fenrich, Phillip Mielke, and Tyler Schmeling shot and killed 34-year-old Brent Alsleben Dec. 15, 2022, after paramedics and law enforcement negotiated with him for hours to go to the hospital.

The family  has said that Alsleben was diagnosed with bipoloar schizoaffective disorder and was off his medication. His mother and sister were granted legal guardianship earlier in the week to get him help.

His mother called the sheriff’s office in the afternoon of Dec. 14 to assist in convincing Alsleben to go to the hospital. Around 5 p.m., emergency personnel determined that he was unable to refuse transport, and grabbed him, County Attorney Sam McGinnis said. At that point Alsleben stabbed one of the EMS workers in the stomach with a knife, and attempted to stab a deputy.

He barricaded himself in his apartment, and shortly after midnight, five officers forced open his apartment door. Officers smelled fire coming from the apartment, and saw Alsleben with a “large knife,” McGinnis says.

Officers tried to take him into custody but there was a struggle, and two officers tried to use their Tasers.

Alsleben then started to stand up with the knife still in his hand, and Fenrich, Mielke, and Shchmeling fired their weapons, McGinnis says.

Documents said Fenrich fired his handgun multiple times into Alsleben’s back, Mielke fired two rifle rounds into Alsleben’s front, and Schmeling fired his rifle two to three times into Alsleben’s back.

McGinnis determined that the officers were all able to “specifically articulate the threat of death or great bodily harm” under the conditions outlined by Minnesota law , and concluded the use of deadly force was necessary and justified.

“The loss of life is always tragic, but the officers involved were reasonably put in immediate fear for their lives and the lives of others,” McGinnis concluded. “The use of deadly force by officers Fenrich, Mielke, and Schmeling was lawful.”

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