County Attorney: Officer's Use of Deadly Force Justified

Updated: March 13, 2019 07:40 PM

More details have been released about the domestic assault incident that lead to an officer-involved shooting and death of a Duluth K-9.

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According to St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin, Officer Dale Marcus was justified in firing a shotgun back on January 13th.

He and other officers responded to a domestic assault call on Skyline Parkway that evening.

The suspect, 27-year-old Taylor Joseph Turek, had been accused of violently assaulting his long-time girlfriend. When officers arrived, Turek locked himself in a room in the basement.

According the report, officers attempted to use non-lethal force to persuade Turek to come out. They made plans to send in a K-9, once the officers could open the door.

Officer Aaron Haller had just started his shift with K-9 Haas. The two arrived to assist. Once the door was forced open, the report says Turek fired seven shots, with two hitting Haas. Officer Haller was hit in the mid-body, but was saved by his vest. Officer Marcus was to the immediate right of Officer Haller, providing cover with a shotgun. He fired one shot, but none of the buckshot came into contact with Turek.

The report said Turek fired the final shot into the right side of his own head. In total, it said he fired eight shots.

An autopsy said his blood alcohol level was .27 at the time of his death, and that he also had marijuana in his system. 

Rubin said that Officer Marcus' actions did not result in either the wounding or taking the life of Mr. Turek. His report concluded, "This is a tragic situation with the only good thing coming out of it being the fact that Officer Haller's life was probably saved by his bullet proof vest."

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