BUREAU OF CRIMINAL APPREHENSION RELEASES FURTHER INFORMATION ON APRIL 15, 2023 OFFICER-INVOLVED INCIDENT
(April 19, 2023, 2:00 p.m.) Today, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as investigating agency has issued the following release with additional details on the officer-involved incident of April 15, 2023 where Deputy Joshua Owen was fatally injured. The release information is as follows:
BCA Identifies Subject Killed, Officers Injured in Cyrus Incident
ST. PAUL – The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man who died during a use-of-force incident April 15 in Cyrus. The medical examiner determined that Bryan Nygard, 34, of Cyrus died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the Pope County Deputies and the Starbuck Police Officer who discharged their weapons. Deputy Josh Owen died after being shot three times during the exchange of gunfire. He fired his department handgun during the incident. Deputy Owen had 14 years of law enforcement experience.
• Deputy Brody Merrill fired his department handgun. He has four years of law enforcement experience and is on standard administrative leave. Deputy Merrill was struck once in the upper chest in the vest by a handgun round.
• Officer Alex Olson was struck once in the ankle by a handgun round. He did not fire his weapon.
Based on the initial investigation, just after 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, Officer Olson responded to a domestic violence call at an apartment in Cyrus. Deputies Owen and Merrill responded after him. When they arrived, they entered the home and spoke to Nygard and a woman. After some initial investigation, they informed Nygard that he was under arrest. Nygard, who had been seated at a table, stood up, drew a firearm and began firing. Deputies Owen and Merrill returned fire. Officer Olson was in the hallway and did not fire. In the exchange of gunfire, all three officers and Nygard were struck. Nygard died at the scene. Deputy Owen was taken to the hospital where he later died. Deputy Merrill also went to the hospital where he was treated and released. Officer Olson sustained minor injuries and was not hospitalized. The woman living with Nygard had left the apartment before the shooting occurred and was not injured.
BCA crime scene personnel recovered a pistol, bullets and cartridge casings at the scene. All three officers were wearing their body cameras. BCA agents are reviewing the video as part of the ongoing investigation. It will be redacted and released to the public once the case is closed and fully adjudicated.
April 19, 2023 BUREAU OF CRIMINAL APPREHENSION RELEASES FURTHER INFORMATION ON APRIL 15, 2023 Page 2 of 2 OFFICER-INVOLVED INCIDENT
The Pope County Sheriff’s Office requested that the BCA investigate the incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Pope County Attorney’s Office for review.