Man shot when search warrant served in New Brighton ID’d

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the man shot when law enforcement served a search warrant at a New Brighton home Tuesday as 45-year-old Matthew Lloyd Vanhofwegen.

According to a press release from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, a multi-jurisdictional task force -- the Ramsey County Violent Crime Enforcement Team (VCET) -- served a narcotics search warrant at Vanhofwegen's residence on the 1500 block of 20th Avenue northwest at about 2 p.m.

According to a Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MDPS) news release issued Wednesday afternoon, VCET officers first encountered Vanhofwegen in his front yard. He went inside his home shortly after and did not respond to repeated door knocks by officers.

VCET officers told him they were there to serve a search warrant of the home and then forced open the front door to his residence. Officers found Vanhofwegen in a front hall, where according to the MDPS news release, Vanhofwegen grabbed the barrel of Maplewood Police Officer Joseph Steiner's rifle. After a struggle, Steiner shot Vanhofwegen, the release states. Other officers on the scene administered immediate medical attention to Vanhofwegen, who was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance shortly thereafter. He underwent surgery for gunshot wounds, and was listed as in stable condition Tuesday night.

No officers were injured during the incident, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension per standard procedure is conducting the investigation of the shooting. The narcotics warrant is separate from that investigation.

Steiner, an eight-year veteran of the Maplewood Police Department, has been placed on standard administrative leave.

As of Wednesday afternoon, BCA agents had completed initial interviews with the suspect, officers and witnesses and are continuing their investigation, according to the MDPS news release.

VCET, the team of officers who served the narcotics search warrant, is comprised of law enforcement officers from the St. Paul, Roseville, Maplewood, White Bear Lake, and New Brighton police departments and deputies from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. The task force aims to stop the distribution of narcotics and weapons in the region by targeting narcotics distributors, violent offenders, gang members and career criminals.

Stay tuned to lillienews.com for further details as they become available.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824. Alex Holmquist contributed to this report.

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