The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a 50-year-old suspect being treated for a domestic incident at the St. Cloud Hospital was not being held, but was being monitored by a deputy when a fatal shooting occurred.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
October 18, 2015
St. Cloud, Minnesota – On Sunday, Aitkin County Sheriff Deputy Investigator Steven Martin Sandberg, 60, was fatally shot inside a St. Cloud Hospital room while monitoring a patient, Danny LeRoy Hammond, 50, who was being treated since early last week after a domestic incident. Apparently around 5:15 a.m., both Hammond and Sandberg got into an altercation and Hammond was able to gain possession of Deputy Sandberg’s service weapon and fired two shots fatally striking Sandberg. Several hospital security guards entered the room and one was able to use a taser on Hammond. Hammond later died from complications from being tased.
Hammond was not handcuffed at the time, since he was not being held in custody. The St. Cloud Hospital administration had requested for the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office to monitor Hammond for the gravity of the domestic incident, according to state investigators.
On October 12, Aitkin County Sheriff deputies went to Hammond’s residence and found him unconscious after a suicide attempt, according to authorities. Hammond was admitted to the St. Cloud Hospital for treatment, but was not in custody. Apparently, Hammond allegedly held his wife at gunpoint during an abusive relationship and domestic violence incident on October 10 thru the 11th and she managed to call police after Hammond allowed her to visit her father. Deputy Sandberg investigated the incident and the criminal complaint says that Hammond’s wife had abrasions and was forced to eat rat poison by Hammond.
Hammond’s wife told Deputy Sandberg that she had been married for 25 years and when she told Hammond that she was ending her marriage due to an abusive relationship, Hammond then held her hostage and threatened her life with a 9mm handgun. At least on shot was fired by Hammond inside the home striking a TV, according to the investigation.
Hammond was under investigation and was facing pending charges for kidnapping, assault and terroristic threats, but was not being held in custody while at the hospital.
The investigation is ongoing. Both Hammond and Sandberg’s bodies were transported to the Ramsey County Coroner’s Office in St. Paul for an autopsy.
Sandberg was a 24-year veteran with the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office and is survived by his wife and a daughter.