Minnesota prosecutors charge man with attempted murder of three Waseca police officers

WASECA, Minn.  — Prosecutors in Minnesota have charged a suspect with attempted murder of three police officers on Wednesday. The man is accused of shooting and gravely injuring one of the Waseca officers who was responding to a call of a suspicious person.

Tyler Robert Janovsky, 37, was charged in Waseca County District Court with three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer. Authorities allege Janovsky shot Waseca Officer Arik Matson in the head as Matson and other officers responded to a call of a suspicious person with a flashlight in a backyard Monday night, CBS Minnesota reported.

Janovsky also is accused of shooting at two other officers — Sgt. Timothy Schroeder and Officer Andrew Harren. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Matson and Schroeder returned fire, and Janovsky was hit twice. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries and remained hospitalized Wednesday.

Matson, 32, remained in critical condition Wednesday. However, there is some optimism as reports indicate signs of improvement.


Tyler Robert Janovsky, left, was charged with attempted murder in the critical shooting of Officer Arik Matson, right. Janovsky also is accused of shooting at Sgt. Timothy Schroeder and Officer Andrew Harren. (Waseca Police Department via CBS Minnesota)

According to the criminal complaint, the Waseca officers were called to a residential area at about 8 p.m. Monday on a report of a suspicious person in a backyard with a flashlight. Officers made contact with Janovsky while he was on the back balcony of a house, according to CBS.

Harren went through the house onto the balcony to get Janovsky, but Janovsky fled — going onto the roof of an attached garage and crossing to the other side of the home, facing the front driveway. The complaint says Janovsky fired at Harren and missed. However, he then fired at Matson, who was in the driveway. As a result, the officer received a critical wound to the head.

Janovsky was previously wanted on narcotics violations. Three weeks earlier, police served a search warrant at his home and seized methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine pills, other drugs and a firearm. Court documents say a brother warned Janovsky, and he fled out a basement door, reported CBS.

Janovsky has previous convictions, which include the offenses of burglary, narcotic violations and making terrorist threats. Moreover, the man now accused of trying to murder police officers was convicted of one count of being an accessory to murder in the 2001 strangulation of a 21-year-old man. The Star Tribune reported that Janovsky admitted driving another man to the victim’s home and waiting outside during the homicide.

Matson has been with the Waseca Police Department since 2013. He is currently assigned to the patrol division. Furthermore, he is a member of a regional drug investigative SWAT team and worked in a program designed to keep kids away from drugs, Chief Penny Vought said.

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