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Duluth police officer involved in fatal shooting of man

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Duluth News-Tribune

A Duluth police officer fatally shot a man early today.

The shooting happened on the 300 block of East Locust Street in the Duluth Heights neighborhood. The officer had responded to a call in the area at 1:59 a.m.

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Duluth Police Department spokesman Jim Hansen declined to say what the original call was about.

“We are continuing to gather information,” he said shortly after 8 a.m. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will aid in the investigation.

Hanson didn’t say how long the officer has served with the department. More details will be released later.

The last time a Duluth police officer fatally shot a suspect was on Aug. 28, 2011, when Sgt. Brad Wick shot robbery suspect Brian Cayce Butala in the Gary-New Duluth area.

Acting on a tip, police located Butala and a female companion in Gary. A vehicle chase ended when the pair’s car crashed into a tree. They entered a nearby house, apparently shooting the resident in the leg as they entered. Wick followed, and he and Butala exchanged fire. Wick was not hit; Butala was hit by several bullets before collapsing.

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin determined that Wick used justifiable force when he shot and killed Butala.

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