Officers Identified in Shooting

ST. PAUL — Three officers who fired their weapons during an officer involved shooting incident on Thursday in Albert Lea have been identified. All are on standard administrative leave.

Lieutenant Darin Palmer discharged his firearm. He has been with the Albert Lea Police Department for 18 years.
Officer Jesus Cantu discharged his firearm. He has been with the department for 20 years.
Officer Jason Taylor deployed a Taser and a chemical irritant. He has been with the department for 18 years.
Officer Taylor received a minor sharp force injury during the incident. Officer Taylor was treated for his injury by Gold Cross Ambulance personnel.

In addition, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man who was fatally shot during the incident. Joseph Alan Roberts, 27, of Albert Lea, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the incident at the request of the Albert Lea Police Department.

Officers responded to a 911 call of a disturbance involving an individual, now identified as Roberts, at the home at 317 Court Street in Albert Lea. By the time officers arrived, Roberts had fled the home. Officers subsequently pursued Roberts on foot. The pursuit ended in the north-south section of the alley between Court and West College streets.

At one point during the encounter with Roberts, Officer Taylor sustained the sharp force injury. He also deployed a chemical irritant and his Taser. Lieutenant Palmer and Officer Cantu discharged their firearms. Roberts was struck and pronounced deceased at the scene.

BCA crime scene personnel recovered a knife at the scene where the shooting occurred.

The officers were not wearing body cameras. Squad cameras were operating at the time and captured portions of the incident.

Albert Lea police officers attempted lifesaving measures. The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Albert Lea Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance provided assistance at the scene.

The BCA is in the process of gathering evidence and determining the facts of the incident. BCA agents are conducting interviews with witnesses and incident participants. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will turn its findings over without recommendation to the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office for review.