NEW HOPE, Minn. – A man with a history of mental illness who shot and wounded two police officers before he was killed at a City Hall in suburban Minneapolis should not have had access to a gun, authorities said Wednesday.
Raymond Kmetz, 68, had been civilly committed twice for psychological issues, Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek said.
Stanek told a news conference that authorities do not know how Kmetz got the weapon, a "pistol grip shotgun" that had its serial numbers "obliterated," the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1yyNViH) reported. Kmetz used the gun to shoot the officers at New Hope City Hall Monday night.
Kmetz called the Hennepin County court system earlier Monday because he wanted some property returned. Kmetz then left his Belle Plaine home and bought some ammunition, the sheriff said.
Around 7:15 p.m., Kmetz entered City Hall and "fired his gun at the officers," Stanek said. Police returned fire, killing Kmetz.
Kmetz's son, Nathan Kmetz, says his father blamed authorities for the loss of his home and contracting business. The Kmetz family is assisting authorities in the investigation, Stanek said.
The two wounded officers are doing well after leaving the hospital Tuesday, according to a sheriff's office spokeswoman. New Hope officers Beau Schoenhard and Joshua Eernisse were just leaving a swearing-in ceremony for Eernisse and another officer when Kmetz opened fire.
The names of the officers who shot Kmetz have not been released.
New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier said those officers "acted as they should, based on their training."
"I'm incredibly proud," Fournier said. "They did exactly as they were trained. They took down the threat, protected the environment and secured the building."
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com