MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn. (AP) — Sheriff’s deputies in northeastern Minnesota shot and killed a man after he fled officers who were investigating a shoplifting report, authorities said.
The man who was killed early Saturday afternoon in Mountain Iron, Minnesota, was identified by his mother as 19-year-old Estavon Elioff, the Star Tribune reported.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies first discovered the man outside a business about 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Mountain Iron, a small city about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Minneapolis. He refused commands and fled on foot, the release said. The sheriff’s statement was not clear whether deputies identified him as the shoplifting suspect.
As deputies and other law enforcement officers searched for the man, they learned he matched the description of a suspect in a drive-by shooting Friday in the nearby town of Virginia, where Elioff lived, according to the release.
About an hour later, deputies with a police dog found Elioff in a wooded area. The statement said there was a confrontation, deputies deployed Tasers and then two of them shot Elioff. Authorities have not indicated that the man was armed or provided details about the confrontation prior to the shooting.
Estavon Elioff died at the scene. The deputies have been placed on administrative leave while the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigates the shooting.
Jacqueline Elioff, of Vancouver, Washington, said she spoke with her son Saturday morning. She said they made plans for him to move him out of his grandmother’s home in Virginia and live with her in Vancouver. She said “he fell into drugs like other kids, and we needed to get him out of there because we knew there was a lot of trouble.” She hoped to get him into treatment.
Elioff said she has not received any other information from the sheriff’s office.
“Why did two officers have to feel the need to shoot him?” she asked.