Duluth, MN — Jared Richard Fyle, 23, is lucky to be alive following an interaction with Duluth police officers earlier this month. Fyle was standing inside his own home when a Duluth cop shot through the windowless door and hit him in the shoulder. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is now investigating the incident.
According to police, they responded to a call about a domestic disturbance at the apartment complex in which Fyle lives. The Duluth police officer who fired through the door, Officer Tyler Leibfried claimed he heard “multiple gunshots” when responding to the scene. But according to the MBCA, that’s not what happened.
The account of “multiple shots” differs from the MBCA’s initial report, which stated that Duluth Police Officer Leibfried “discharged his firearm into the door” and “the shot went through the door and struck Fyle in the shoulder.”
It would later be determined that the only shots fired that night came out of Leibfried’s service pistol and landed in Fyle’s shoulder. After shooting the unarmed and eventually proven innocent man through the door to his home, police searched — likely frantically to justify the shooting — for a weapon and found nothing. The investigation would also find that no shots were ever fired from inside Fyle’s home.
Police would then make the claim that they found a hatchet near the front door of the home — as if this would somehow justify shooting through a closed door that could potentially have children behind it.
According to WDIO-TV, police say Fyle was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment and then released into police custody. Fyle was then booked at the St. Louis County Jail on probable cause for Domestic Assault.
However, police apparently did not have enough evidence on which to charge Fyle, so they decided not to charge him.
In an interview with the local station, Fyle told reporters that he had no idea police were even there that night and was just walking around upset.
“I was standing by my door. I was stressed out, mad,” Fyle told WDIO-TV in Duluth. “I didn’t realize that the cops were even coming in the first place, and I went to lock my door, and when I locked my door, I heard, ‘Shots fired,’ … and I got hit in the shoulder by one of the bullets.”
WDIO-TV obtained a video from a neighbor that appears to show the moments after the gunfire and includes an officer saying, “He shot at us, and I shot him through the door.”
However, as stated above, according to the MBCA, “Based on the preliminary investigation, no shots were fired from inside the apartment.”
Apparently, is seems that the locking of the door frightened officer Leibfriend who then shot the man in the shoulder. Luckily Fyle wasn’t holding a baby, standing a few inches to the left to be shot in the neck, or bending down and to be shot in the head.
The idea that a cop would not be immediately fired and charged for shooting through a closed, windowless door and hitting a person inside for absolutely no other reason other than he was jumpy, is shocking. Sadly, it is par for the course and so is the utter lack of accountability for officers who do such things.
One glaring example of this lack of accountability is Greenville County deputy Kevin Azzara who also shot an innocent man through his door. The entire scene was captured on the officer’s body camera, and department’s original version of events did not match the video at all. Despite the blatant discrepancies between what the department claimed happened and what actually happened, Azzara was ruled justified in his actions.