BCA identifies northeast Minnesota man killed in officer-involved shooting

Three officers from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and Virginia Police Department are on administrative leave, pending investigation for discharging weapons during the incident.

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CHISHOLM, Minn. — The man who was killed in an officer-involved shooting Wednesday has been identified as Michael David Johnson, 38, of Chisholm, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office announced Friday.

Johnson died of multiple gunshot wounds outside his home at 201 Central Ave. S. in Chisholm while law enforcement officers from several departments attempted to take him into custody on multiple felony charges out of Morrison County.

During the confrontation, which began at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, Johnson came out of his home with knives in his hands, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the incident. Officers responded by first firing non-lethal foam impact rounds, and then deployed lethal rounds from firearms, which struck and killed Johnson. He died at the scene. No officers were hurt in the incident.

The BCA identified the three officers who discharged their weapons as deputies Cody Dillinger and Gavin Nichols of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and Officer Nick Grivna of the Virginia Police Department. Dillinger and Grivna fired their department handguns, and Nichols fired non-lethal foam impact rounds. All three officers are on standard administrative leave pending the BCA's investigation.

Grivna used lethal force in a November 2018 incident, where he was found justified by the BCA in fatally shooting J. Scot Alan Widmark, who forced a woman from a car with a knife before holding another man hostage as a human shield. Grivna has been with the Virginia Police Department for eight years.


The BCA stated two knives were recovered near Johnson's body by crime scene personnel. Body cameras and squad video recorders captured footage of the incident.

The search for Johnson began in the Hibbing and Chisholm areas at 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office. Johnson's unoccupied vehicle was located at 7:15 a.m. outside his home.

Investigation of the incident is ongoing. The BCA will present its findings without recommendation to the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office for review when the investigation is complete.

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