Update: Police arrest alleged shooter at Shady Oaks

Published 6:12 am Sunday, November 29, 2020

Suspect reportedly injured with shrapnel, taken to Rochester hospital

Authorities arrested a 21-year-old man Sunday afternoon who allegedly shot three people, including one officer, at Shady Oaks earlier that morning.

Police stated the man arrested was Devin Matthew Weiland of Albert Lea. Police had been in a standoff with Weiland for 8 1/2  hours when he was arrested at 10:48 a.m.

Devin Weiland

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension stated at one point during the incident, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper discharged their firearm, and Weiland sustained shrapnel injuries. The BCA stated as of Sunday night, it was unknown whether he was shot. Weiland then surrendered to law enforcement and was taken to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, where he is being treated for injuries deemed not life-threatening.

Email newsletter signup

Police were initially dispatched to Shady Oaks, 800 S. Fourth Ave., at 2:18 a.m. Sunday on a report of a possible noise complaint or weapons violation. It was reported that fireworks or gunshots were heard.

When an Albert Lea officer responded, the suspect reportedly ambushed the officer, shooting multiple times and striking the officer once in the chest and the squad car at least twice.

The 30-year-old officer was able to relocate to a safe zone, assess possible injuries and drove himself to the emergency room at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, according to a press release. He was treated and released.

A 52-year-old man and a 38-year-old man, both of Albert Lea, who were also injured, were flown by helicopter to St. Marys Hospital for non-life-threatening gunshot injuries. Police stated one of the men who was shot was on his way to work.

Some Shady Oaks residents were relocated to United Methodist Church for safety and others were sheltering in place in their apartments as police negotiated with the alleged shooter. Residents nearby were asked to stay in their homes.

Once Weiland was arrested, most of the remaining residents were evacuated so investigators could process the crime scene. Most have since been allowed to return to their homes, and the remaining residents are being provided hotel accommodations for the night, the BCA stated.

John Mitchem, United Methodist Church pastor, who also serves as the chaplain for the Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, said Sunday morning over 40 residents from the apartment complex were at the church.

He said he hoped the church could be a blessing to the community in a time of need.

Several churches had also called to see how they could help. Food and coffee were brought in for the people, and Mitchem said the church would provide shelter as long as needed.

“It’s church being able to bring lightness into people’s darkness,” he said.

Agencies involved in the response included the South Central Drug Investigation Unit; River Valley Tactical Team; Austin/Mower Special Incident Response Team; Minnesota State Patrol Special Response Team; Washington County SWAT Team; the Freeborn, Dodge, Mower, Steele and Waseca County sheriff’s offices; the Albert Lea, Waseca, Owatonna and Minneapolis police departments; Albert Lea Fire Rescue; Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service; Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea; Freeborn, Mower, Winona and Dodge County emergency management agencies; and Freeborn County Public Health.

According to the BCA, the Minnesota State Patrol trooper who discharged their firearm is on standard administrative leave.

The BCA will release any additional information once initial interviews are complete. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will provided its findings without recommendation to the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office for review.  

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said his thoughts were with those across the state who were hurting from the Albert Lea shooting.

“Thank you to the law enforcement officers, including both local teams and our State Patrol troopers and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents, who worked to keep Albert Lea residents safe from further harm,” Walz said. “This situation could have been significantly worse, but the suspect is now in custody.”