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Name of man killed in Sleepy Hollow shooting identified

The name of the rural Brainerd man who was shot and killed by Crow Wing County Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday after he shot at them first, wounding a deputy, has been identified as 50-year-old Donald Peter Johnson.

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl said Thursday the name of the injured deputy is being withheld and will be released at a later date.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 12:49 p.m. Wednesday from an adult male requesting emergency services to his home on the 5000 block of Sleepy Hollow Road in St. Mathias Township.

The caller was unclear as to the nature of the emergency, so deputies were dispatched to conduct a welfare check. Upon arrival, there was no answer at the home.

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl said deputies heard a single gunshot coming from the woods just south of the residence. Deputies searched and found Johnson, who was armed, in a tree stand in a wooded area. Dahl said deputies negotiated with Johnson, who Dahl said was distraught, and eventually Johnson said he would surrender. The suspect put his weapon down and started to come down from the tree stand. Dahl said when Johnson got down, he changed his mind and began climbing up the tree again. Dahl said the K-9 dog went after the suspect, who then turned around and started shooting at the deputies, with a shot hitting a deputy in the arm. Dahl said deputies then returned fire — at which time a number of rounds were shot, including non-lethal shots — and the suspect was killed.

According to the police scanner, the shootings took place just before 5:30 p.m.

Johnson’s body was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

The sheriff’s office is withholding the name of the deputy that will be released at a later date.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Baxter Police Department, Baxter Police Department K9 Unit, Brainerd Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and North Ambulance. Members of the Crow Wing County Tactical Team were also on the scene. Further investigation by the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office and the BCA will continue.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at