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Man shot by Willmar police appears in court Friday for terroristic threats against probation officer, police

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.

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August LaFeen

WILLMAR — August LaFeen, 56, of Willmar, has been identified by court documents as the man shot in the hand by police Thursday evening at an apartment building on the 400 block of 15th Avenue Southwest in Willmar.

According to the criminal complaint, LaFeen had threatened to kill his probation officer and attempt "suicide by cop."

He appeared Friday morning before District Judge Jennifer Fischer in Kandiyohi County District Court on six charges of felony terroristic threats. Bail was set at $100,000 with no conditions or $25,000 with conditions that include not using or possessing firearms, ammunition or explosives; not using or possessing alcohol or drugs unless prescribed; and staying in contact with probation and his attorney.

A news release from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension stated that LaFeen received medical care at Carris Health — Rice Memorial in Willmar for his injuries and is currently in custody in the Kandiyohi County Jail, but he was not listed as in custody on the jail website as of Friday afternoon.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement observed injuries to his right index finger, two puncture wounds to the abdomen, likely from Taser stun gun probes, a left elbow abrasion and an abrasion in the middle of his back.

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No one else was injured during the incident, according to a news release from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The BCA is investigating the incident and will submit its findings without recommendation to the Kandiyohi County Attorney's Office for review when the investigation is complete.

Related: No charges in deadly July shooting by Olivia cop

Willmar Police Sgt. Ross Livingood is identified in the criminal complaint as the officer who discharged his service weapon twice. Livingood has been employed by the Willmar Police Department for 15 years and has no complaints filed against him, according to the department.

Willmar Police Officer Joe Schaefbauer is identified in the criminal complaint as the officer who deployed his Taser. According to the department, Schaefbauer has been employed by the department for three years and has no complaints filed against him.

Officers initially responded to LaFeen's residence because a Kandiyohi County Community Corrections probation agent told law enforcement that LaFeen had threatened to kill his probation officer and anyone who came to his residence without his probation officer.

According to the criminal complaint, body camera footage of the incident was started at 5:14 p.m. Dec. 16 and lasts for 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

"The discharge of a firearm by an officer makes (body-worn camera) data public. However, because it’s an active investigation, there’s an unknown timeframe before the BCA would likely allow its release," Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt wrote in an email to the West Central Tribune.

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Related: WPD body-worn camera policy

According to the criminal complaint, the footage shows LaFeen inside his apartment doorway and a handgun in his right hand outside of the doorway.

Officers tell LaFeen to drop the gun and Livingood tells LaFeen to go back inside and he would call him on the phone.

LaFeen told law enforcement to bring his probation officer to him and that he was going to kill him.

Livingood, who was to the right of LaFeen's apartment door, then fired his service weapon twice into the apartment.

Law enforcement then "engaged" LaFeen, and Schaefbauer deployed his Taser at LaFeen.

LaFeen was then arrested.

According to the criminal complaint, LaFeen was questioned by law enforcement later that night when he told them that he emailed and called the probation office to say he wanted to kill his probation officer because he was upset that his probation was going to be extended.

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LaFeen told law enforcement that "suicide by cop" was his plan and that he struggles with alcoholism, depression, psychopathy and anti-social disorder.

LaFeen also told law enforcement that he drank vodka Thursday and believed he was intoxicated, and that he pointed a carbon dioxide-powered BB gun that looks like a .45-caliber ACP handgun at law enforcement.

According to the release, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime scene personnel recovered a replica gun at the scene.

LaFeen's next court date is scheduled for Dec. 29.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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