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Princeton, MN (KROC-AM News) - Five Minnesota law officers are recovering today from gunshot wounds suffered in an apparent exchange of gunfire with a 64-year-old man at a rural residence in central Minnesota this morning.

Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck met with reporters this afternoon to provide limited information about the incident, which occurred while members of a Sherburne County crime task force were executing a warrant at the home near Princeton around 7 AM. Sheriff Heck says bullets struck three Sherburne County Deputies, a Princeton Police Officer, and a member of the Elk River Police Department. All of the officers involved were operating undercover and their names are not been released.

Sheriff Heck (Benton County Sheriff's Office photo)
Sheriff Heck (Benton County Sheriff's Office photo)
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Two of the Sherburne County Deputies were hit on their protective vests and have already been released after receiving treatment at a hospital in St. Cloud. The three other law officers were transported by ambulance or airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. The Sheriff did not have information concerning the extent of their wounds but did indicate they were considered non-life-threatening.

Sheriff Heck says the members of the crime task force came under fire shortly after they arrived at the property and announced their presence of occupants of the home. He says they responded by returning fire in the direction of the residence while the wounded officers were evacuated.

After several hours of negotiations the suspected gunman surrendered without further incident. He was identified as 64-year-old Karl Holmberg of rural Princeton. The Sheriff says he was also transported to North Memorial Medical Center to be treated for injuries. At this point the cause and extent of those injuries are not known. A woman was also found in the home and was transported to a hospital for an evaluation.

Karl Thomas Holmberg in a 2002 photo courtesy Benton County Jail
Karl Thomas Holmberg in a 2002 photo courtesy Benton County Jail
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When asked if he had any previous interactions with Holmberg, Sheriff Heck stated yes. He was also asked if he was surprised by the violence and his response was, "no."

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is now in charge of the investigation. A spokesperson says it is in its very early stages and the crime scene remains very active with BCA agents still processing evidence. She also noted there is video recorded by body cameras worn by officers as well as squad car cameras that will be reviewed by BCA investigators.

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