Authorities identify man shot by Crookston officer after allegedly brandishing hatchet

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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension identified 35-year-old Andrew Scott Dale, of Crookston, as the man fatally shot by a Crookston police officer after allegedly running toward law enforcement with a hatchet on May 16.

A forensic pathologist at the University of North Dakota identified Dale and determined that he died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to a Thursday press release from the BCA.

Crookston Officer Nick Fladland fired his department-issued handgun, the release said. He has five years of law enforcement experience and has been placed on leave, which is standard.

One other Crookston police officer and one Polk County sheriff’s deputy were identified as using less-lethal force during the incident.

Officer Alex Rudnik deployed his Taser. He has 10 years of law enforcement experience. Deputy Matt Benge fired 40-mm foam less-lethal rounds. He has five years of experience.

The BCA’s preliminary investigation revealed that just before 1 a.m. May 16, officers observed Dale walking in the road with a hatchet, the release said. He allegedly ran toward them while holding the weapon. Rudnik and Benge’s use of less-lethal force was ineffective. Fladland fired his handgun, striking Dale multiple times.

“The officers provided life-saving care, but Dale later died at the hospital,” the release said.

BCA crime scene personnel at the scene recovered a hatchet and cartridge casings. Body-worn cameras captured portions of the incident, and BCA agents are reviewing all video footage as part of an active investigation.

Once the investigation is completed, the agency will present its findings to the Polk County Attorney’s Office for review.

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