MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota investigators released Tuesday the names of the officers who killed a 19-year-old man they suspected in a drive-by shooting, but didn’t provide details on what happened.
Estavon Elioff, 19, died Saturday of multiple gunshot wounds in Mountain Iron, Minnesota, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a press release. Elioff had been earlier identified by his mother, Jacqueline Elioff, of Vancouver, Washington, who questioned why officers felt they needed to shoot her son.
The sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed Elioff were identified as Ryan Smith and Matt Tomsich with the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, according to the press release. The pair has been working for the department for about a dozen years. They have been placed on standard administrative leave.
Authorities on Saturday responded to a report of a shoplifter, according to the sheriff’s office. The shoplifter, who fled the scene, was later identified in surveillance video as a suspect in drive-by shooting the day before in the nearby town of Virginia, where Elioff lived.
The sheriff’s office said deputies with a police dog eventually found Elioff in a wooded area. There was a confrontation, deputies deployed Tasers and then two of them shot Elioff, according to the sheriff’s office. He died at the scene.
The BCA said investigators found a knife at the scene of the shooting.
St. Louis County sheriff’s deputies do not wear body cameras and dash cameras did not capture the incident, the BCA said, adding there were no other witnesses to the shooting.