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Agents justified in fatal shooting of MN sex offender, prosecutor says

ALEXANDRIA -- A man who was shot and killed by officers at an Alexandria home in August was within 4 feet of the officers while armed with a knife, a release from Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson said Friday. Larson concluded the shooting of A...

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Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels and Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen (left), along with Douglas County Chief Deputy Brad Lake, were on the scene.

ALEXANDRIA - A man who was shot and killed by officers at an Alexandria home in August was within 4 feet of the officers while armed with a knife, a release from Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson said Friday.

Larson concluded the shooting of Adam Jo Klimek, 31, of Carlos, by agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was a justifiable use of force done in self-defense.

"I have chosen not to present this case to a grand jury because the facts do not warrant it." Larson said in his release.

"The two BCA agents involved, agents Elizabeth Eilers and Dustin Vanderhagen, were victims of a crime that day. ... In my opinion, they should be commended for their service to the public in the face of lethal opposition."

Van Der Hagen served 11 years with the Willmar Police Department before taking a new job with the BCA earlier this summer. He had served as a detective most recently and also had experience as a patrol officer, field training officer and SWAT team member.

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Klimek was shot during an undercover operation at a single-family home near downtown Alexandria where he thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl on Aug. 2.

Klimek had been messaging what he believed to be a girl since July, but instead had been sending online and social media message to an undercover agent who was part of an effort to catch predatory sex offenders who target children, the release said.

When Klimek entered the home and was told by a BCA agent to put his hands behind his back, he took a knife from his pocket. Klimek then began to injure himself with the knife. He was told to drop the knife and was sprayed with a chemical irritant, which had no apparent effect on him, the release said.

Klimek then placed the knife to his neck and began approaching the agents. Klimek then lowered the knife and ignored commands to drop the knife and was within 4 feet of the agents when they opened fire, killing him.

The release said the investigation leading up to the shooting was not actively seeking offenders, "rather suspects became apparent based upon their messaging content that they sent to an undercover agent who they believed was a juvenile female."

Agents were aware that Klimek was a convicted sex offender. He had previously been convicted of engaging in prostitution with a girl under the age of 13. Klimek was prohibited from having contact with minor females as a condition of his probation.

In May 2013, Klimek was involved in a sex trafficking case out of the Twin Cities. After a 12-year-old girl was transported to Alexandria and forced to put up a Craigslist ad with sexually explicit photos, Klimek responded to the ad.

The girl was taken to his home, where he was to pay her $600 for sex. According to court documents, he was physically unable to have sex, but paid her $400.

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Klimek was charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct - contact with a person younger than 13, and one count of engaging in prostitution with person younger than 13. Both were felonies. He pleaded guilty to the second count in August 2013. In exchange for the guilty plea, the other charge was dismissed.

At that time, Klimek was given a stayed seven year prison sentence and placed on probation for up to 20 years. He served 90 days in jail.

Law enforcement block off a street in Alexandria, Minn. Forum News Service
Law enforcement block off a street in Alexandria, Minn. Credit: Beth Leipholtz, Forum News Service

Law enforcement block off a street in Alexandria, Minn. Forum News Service
Law enforcement block off a street in Alexandria, Minn. Credit: Beth Leipholtz, Forum News Service

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