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BCA investigation clears deputy in shooting incident

Stevens County Sheriff's Deputy Ron Hensinger acted in self defense when Jay Johannes Holmgren was shot and killed Oct. 28 in Traverse County after a multi-officer pursuit from Donnelly to Minnesota Highway 27 near Wheaton, Traverse County Attorney Matthew P. Franzese said in a Feb. 14 letter released today by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Franzese said he will not present the case to a grand jury "because the facts do not warrant it."

In a letter to Traverse County Sheriff Trevor Wright, Franzese said in a letter to Traverse County Sheriff Trevor Wright that after reviewing the BCA's independent investigation he concluded Holmgren, 37, of Evansville, "intended to cause his own death by threatening the lives of the law enforcement officers who were tasked with pursuing him and trying to take him into custody."

Holmgren had stopped along the highway and had pointed a handgun at officers on Oct. 28, the BCA has said. "By pointing his weapon at these officers, Holmgren had to know that he would be fired upon," Franzese said in his letter. "And it was not until Holmgren did point his weapon directly at these officers, obviously threatening the officers with the imminent prospect of death or great bodily harm, that one of them fired his weapon at him."

Franzese's letter said Hensinger fired one shot from his rifle at Holmgren, striking him and killing him.

Franzese said the law officers showed "tremendous restraint in trying to safely place Holmgren under arrest..."

The shooting happened about 90 minutes after Holmgren was approached by a Stevens County deputy about 7:05 a.m. Oct. 28 in Donnelly, the BCA said. The deputy found Holmgren alone, apparently slumped over in a pickup on Main Street, the BCA said.

Holmgren then led officers on a 50-mile chase through Stevens, Grant and Traverse counties that included Holmgren shooting through his rear window at law enforcement near Wheaton and ramming a Morris Police Department vehicle in Donnelly, the BCA said. Law enforcement stopped Holmgren by using a PIT maneuver on Minnesota Highway 27 near Traverse County Road 6.