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Law enforcement from across state arrive in Aitkin for deputy's funeral

With emergency lights flashing, law enforcement vehicles from across the state lined up this morning in Aitkin, awaiting the funeral services for Aitkin County Sheriff's Investigator Steven Sandberg.

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Law enforcement officers from across the state line up Friday morning to enter Aitkin High School for the funeral services of Aitkin County Sheriff's Investigator Steve Sandberg. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

With emergency lights flashing, law enforcement vehicles from across the state lined up this morning in Aitkin, awaiting the funeral services for Aitkin County Sheriff's Investigator Steven Sandberg.

Services for Sandberg, who was shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday at St. Cloud Hospital,

are expected to start at 11 a.m. today at the Aitkin High School.

Coming into Aitkin on Highway 210, squad cars lined the highway with the emergency lights on. Once in the small town, Minnesota State Patrol troopers, county deputies and police officer, and firefighters staged in different areas around town in preparation for the funeral services and the processional to the cemetery.

Minnesota Patriot Guard members stood in front of the Aitkin High School holding flags as rain came down. By 8:30 a.m. people were already showing up to the school for the funeral services.

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In front of the sheriff's office, Sandberg's squad car was with flowers and balloons were placed around it.

Sandberg was with the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office for 24 years, including the past 20 years as an investigator. As an investigator, he worked on serious crimes/felonies and child abuse cases.

Sandberg, 60, was shot and killed by an inmate receiving treatment at St. Cloud Hospital early Sunday morning, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Sandberg had been guarding the suspect, Danny Leroy Hammond, 50, of rural Aitkin, in a hospital room.

Around 5:15 a.m. Hammond got out of his bed and started an altercation with Sandberg, according to the BCA, during which he took Sandberg's gun and shot him.

A hospital guard then entered the room and used a Taser to subdue Hammond, who shortly after suffered a medical emergency and died, according to the BCA, which did not provide further information on Hammond's death.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.

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People arrive at Aitkin High School Friday morning for the funeral of Aitkin County Sheriff's Investigator Steve Sandberg. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

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