Crime

'Terrible, Senseless Murder': Minnesota Officer Killed After Hospitalized Suspect Grabs His Gun

| by Daniel Rivera
Steven SandbergSteven Sandberg

A Minnesota deputy was found dead in a hospital after a suspect allegedly shot the officer with his own government-issued gun.

State officials released a statement that said Steven Sandberg, an investigator for the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office, died during a quarrel with suspect he was guarding at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota, CNN reports.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the suspect, 50-year-old Danny Hammond, "[gained] control of Sandberg's gun and shot him" at approximately 5:15 a.m. on Oct. 18.

Hammond was admitted into the hospital to receive care after a domestic abuse incident.

The suspect later died after a security guard used a Taser to restrain him.

In a statement following the incident, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota called the officer's death a "terrible, senseless murder."

"This tragedy reminds us that Minnesota's law enforcement officers risk their lives every day and night to keep us safe," Dayton added.

Sandberg was a 24-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office and is survived by his daughter.

Twenty-four law enforcement officers have been fatally shot this year, according to a CNN report in August. The total number of officers who have died in the line of duty in 2015 has risen to 85, compared to 73 during the January-September 2014 stretch.

Sources: CNN (2) / Photo Credit: Sandberg Family via CNN, CBS Minnesota