Duluth man shot by officer likely to live

Published 9:28 am Wednesday, August 13, 2014

DULUTH — Duluth police say a man who cut himself and was shot twice by an officer is expected to live.

Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay identified the man Tuesday as 34-year-old Joe Zontelli. He said Officer Marc Johnson shot him because Johnson feared for the safety of the people present.

Johnson was placed on administrative leave, following standard protocol. He’s a seven-year veteran of the department.

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Ramsay said Zontelli had cut himself and was bleeding when officers arrived at his home Monday. He said Zontelli locked himself in a basement.

Officers forced open the door and deployed a dog to distract him. Police said Johnson fired his gun after Zontelli refused to drop his knife.

Ramsay said officers can’t count on stun guns in life-threatening situations.