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Willmar man shot during standoff with police after threatening to kill probation agent sentenced to probation

August LaFeen, 56, was sentenced to supervised probation, while four prison terms were stayed, on four convictions of violent threats. LaFeen threatened to kill his probation agent and anyone that showed up to his residence in December of 2021. LaFeen was shot in the hand during a police standoff and, after he was arrested, told officers that "suicide by cop" was his plan, according to the criminal complaint.

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WILLMAR — A 56-year-old Willmar man will serve five years of probation after he was convicted of four felony counts of threats of violence in connection with a standoff and police shooting in December of 2021.

August LaFeen entered an amended guilty plea to the four charges in August in Kandiyohi County District Court. Four other identical charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Judge Melissa Litsug on Oct. 12 handed down four concurrent sentences of stayed prison time and supervised probation. The stayed prison sentences will not be executed if he successfully completes probation.

A 12-month prison sentence and a 15-month prison sentence each were stayed for one year, in favor of a one-year probation term, and an 18-month prison sentence and a 21-month prison sentence each were stayed for five years while he serves five years of probation.

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August LaFeen

LaFeen was sentenced to 301 days in jail and received full credit for already serving that time.

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Conditions of LaFeen's probation include random drug testing, writing a letter of apology to Kandiyohi County Community of Corrections and the Willmar Police Department, no use or possession of alcohol or drugs except as prescribed, a psychiatric evaluation and no use or possession of firearms.

LaFeen had threatened to kill a probation agent, and any law enforcement officer who responded to his residence in Willmar, after learning his probation was going to be extended, according to the criminal complaint.

This led to a five-minute standoff with law enforcement Dec. 16, 2021, at his residence in Willmar.

According to the criminal complaint, body camera footage showed LaFeen holding a handgun, later determined to be a BB gun, twice in his right hand outside the doorway. Officers told LaFeen to drop the gun multiple times but he refused.

A criminal complaint for August LaFeen, 56, of Willmar, states that he threatened to kill a probation agent and law enforcement who responded to his residence. A Willmar police officer discharged his firearm twice, hitting LaFeen at least once, and another officer deployed their Taser stun gun. LaFeen is charged in Kandiyohi County District Court with six counts of felony terroristic threats.

According to the complaint, Willmar Police Sgt. Ross Livingood discharged his firearm twice into the apartment, hitting Lafeen once, after Lafeen threatened that he was going to kill everyone in front of him.

Shortly after shots were fired, police engaged LaFeen and Officer Joe Schaefbauer deployed his Taser stun gun. LaFeen was arrested and said he was sorry, according to the complaint.

LaFeen was shot in the hand and transported for treatment of his injuries, according to a news release from Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at the time. He was treated at CentraCare — Rice Memorial in Willmar. No one else was injured in the incident.

LaFeen spoke to law enforcement after he was in custody at the jail. According to the complaint, LaFeen said "suicide by cop" was his plan. LaFeen said he had drunk vodka and believed he was intoxicated during the incident.

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LaFeen also said in the interview that he struggles with alcoholism, depression, psychopathy and anti-social disorder, according to the complaint.

Dale Morin is a reporter with the West Central Tribune. He covers public safety and breaking news beats.

Dale can be reached at dmorin@wctrib.com or by phone 320-214-4368.
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