Wife of Man Shot by Duluth Police Officer Speaks Out

Updated: 08/13/2014 10:41 PM
Created: 08/13/2014 6:16 PM

The wife of a man shot by a Duluth Police officer spoke out on Wednesday.

Amy Zontelli is Joe Zontelli's wife. The couple has two children, and she said for their sake, she wanted to set the record straight.

Amy Zontelli said she had left the house before the officer-involved shooting took place on Monday, but she shared her thoughts on the incident in a statement to Eyewitness News on Wednesday.

"On a night I sought police assistance to help me save my husband," she wrote, "whom was in the throes of a very private despair amidst personal matters, and intent on harming only himself, the night ended with my husband barely surviving multiple gunshot wounds by the Duluth Police Department."

At a press conference Tuesday, Duluth Police confirmed that two shots were fired in the incident. They did say they believe Officer Marc Johnson feared for his safety and the safety of the other officers there.

"Preliminarily, this case doesn't look like there's any issues with the way things went down," said Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay.

Police said they responded to what they thought was a domestic violence call involving weapons on Monday. When they arrived, they said Joe Zontelli locked himself in a room in the basement with a knife. Police said when Zontelli would not drop the knife, Officer Johnson fired his duty weapon.

Amy Zontelli's statement went on to say, "I also ask that the public please remember that Joe and I do have two young, innocent children which are our priority to protect. Endless coverage and gossip is only making an already horrific situation even more sad and difficult."

She ended by saying, "To our true friends and family who have offered nothing but unbiased love and support, we thank you."

Amy Zontelli also told Eyewitness News that her husband's condition is improving. She said he is talking and walking. He had been in critical condition.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is handling the investigation.

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