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Police Officer Brian David Klinefelter | St. Joseph Police Department, Minnesota St. Joseph Police Department, Minnesota

Police Officer

Brian David Klinefelter

St. Joseph Police Department, Minnesota

End of Watch: Monday, January 29, 1996

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 25

Tour: 2 years

Badge # 775

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Shot and killed

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Officer Brian Klinefelter was shot and killed while attempting to arrest three suspects who had just robbed a liquor store. He was shot while approaching the suspects' pickup truck. Two rounds were stopped by his vest, but two others struck him in his neck and waist. He was pronounced dead approximately one hour later. After a chase, the suspects split up. The shooter forced his way into a house and took the owner hostage. He forced the man to drive around police road blocks, and then locked him in the trunk of the car.

A Benton County Sheriff's deputy spotted the car. The suspect pulled over, got out, and pointed the gun at his head. The deputy ordered the man to drop the gun, but he did not. The deputy shot him once, killing him. The other two suspects were found hiding under a deck and arrested. The two suspects arrested were charged with first degree murder under a law that allow accomplices to be charged with the crime.

Officer Klinefelter was posthumously awarded the first ever Minnesota Medal of Honor for his actions during an incident that had previously occurred in August 1995. His wife accepted the award on his behalf.

He had served with the agency for 2 years and was survived by his wife, 3-month-old daughter, parents, and three siblings.

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Brian I never met you, but you and I grew up in the same town in the same area 9 years apart. We both were members of the same church. We went to the same schools in St Cloud. We both graduated from Apollo High School. We both got our LE degrees at the same school. We both were hired for our first law enforcement jobs in small towns in central MN. The man that was kidnapped at gunpoint is a dear friend of mine that has cut my hair for the past 45 years. Your story and the story of my barber both were featured on the front page of the St Cloud Times today. The man that shot you was killed by a Deputy Sheriff that night. The other two suspects were convicted of 1st degree murder of a police officer and will never see the light of day. After your death the people of the State of MN and Law Enforcement Officers from across the country did everything they could to help your wife and daughter. I remember the day of your funeral. I was then a Wright County Deputy Sheriff working patrol. I volunteered to assist Stearns County and take calls for service in the eastern part of the county so all the Stearns County deputies could go to your funeral. I remember being parked on the overpass at I94 in St Augusta watching hundreds of squad cars headed westbound....I will never for get that.

Deputy Sheriff Jeff Benn retired 8-4-15
Wright County Sheriff's Office, MN
January 31, 2016


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