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Man charged with shooting Waseca officer pleads guilty to attempted murder

The man charged with shooting and seriously injuring a Waseca officer in January pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted murder.

Tyler Janovsky

Tyler Robert Janovsky, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer. A third count of first-degree attempted murder was dismissed as part of the plea, along with a charge of possessing ammunition and a firearm after a conviction of a crime of violence. 

The shooting took place Jan. 6 after Waseca police officers responded to a report of a suspicious person in the backyard of a residence on Third Avenue Southeast in Waseca. 

When they arrived, Janovksy was on the back balcony of a house and then fled to the roof of the attached garage and ultimately started opening fire on the officers, striking Officer Arik Matson in the head, according to court documents. 

Matson, who grew up in Albert Lea, lived in Freeborn with his wife and two daughters, and had worked for the Waseca Police Department since 2013 on patrol and as the D.A.R.E. officer and as a member of the South Central Drug Task Force SWAT team. He previously worked for the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and Wells and New Richland police departments. 

In addition to his work with law enforcement, he was a member of the volunteer fire department in Freeborn and a member of the Freeborn City Council.

Arik Matson

In the months after the shooting, Matson has undergone two surgeries and may possibly be undergoing another in a few months, his wife, Megan, wrote on his Caring Bridge site earlier this month. He has stayed at three different hospitals and is now at a facility in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is expected to continue rehabilitation for several more months. 

Janovsky has been in custody of the Minnesota Department of Corrections in Oak Park Heights and is slated to be sentenced Sept. 18. He faces 35 years in prison under the plea agreement, according to the Associated Press.