Duluth, MN — An innocent man is disabled and a police officer charged after that officer mistook the sound of a door shutting as gunfire and began shooting through a closed door. Despite the victim crying for help from inside the apartment on the other side of the door after being shot, Duluth police officer Tyler Leibfried fired an additional two more shots through the door.
Liebfried is now facing felony firearms charges for his decision to open fire on 23-year-old Jared Fyle for absolutely no reason.
According to police, they were at the Kingsley Heights Apartment complex the night of Sept. 12 after they received a complaint of a disturbance. Before officers even made it to Fyle’s door, they determined there was no cause for arrest. However, they simply wanted to ask Fyle some questions.
As the video shows, the officers are walking down the hallway, laughing and joking before making it to Fyle’s door. When approaching the door, they hear two load banging sounds — which Leibfried assumed was gun fire — but was actually a slamming door.
When the door shuts, Leibfried ducks to the side before blindly dumping four rounds through a closed door having no idea what or who was on the other side. Fyle had no idea it was cops on the other side of the door and when he gets shot, he immediately begs for whoever is doing the shooting to “Please Stop! I’m shot!”
The pleas for help were enough to briefly stop Leibfried from shooting but just briefly. As Fyle begs for help from inside his apartment, Leibfried fires two more entirely unnecessary rounds through the closed door.
“Please! Stop!” Fyle is heard shouting. “Can I open the door? Stop! Ow! I got shot! Open the door! Open the door! Please! Stop!”
Because he was lying on the ground bleeding out, Fyle could not open the door and begs the officers to help him.
Sensing the urgency of the situation, Leibfried’s partner, officer Cory Lindsholm tells Leibfried to open the door, but Leibfried says, “I can’t.”
Instead of attempting to open the door and help the innocent man he just filled with bullets, Leibfried calls for medical as he runs back to Lindsholm and the video ends.
Before shooting through the door, neither of the officers announced their presence.
After the shooting, Leibfried attempted to justify the shooting, claiming the situation was dangerous but the only danger in the entire apartment complex that night was Leibfried.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, Leibfried told Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators that the hallway was a “fatal funnel” — a narrow passage that left little room for him and his partner to safely maneuver. But St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said he had enough time to see that no shots had passed through the door and cited the statement of Lindsholm, who told investigators that he “wasn’t going to start putting rounds into this apartment just on a guess.”
Indeed, as the video below illustrates, there was absolutely no need to shoot through that door.
Naturally, however, the officer’s union-appointed defense attorney Paul Engh argued Leibfried’s charges should be dismissed because he was justified in firing the moment he heard apparent shots under the “reasonable officer” standard established by the U.S. Supreme Court.
There is absolutely nothing reasonable about Leibfried’s actions that night, and luckily, Sixth Judicial District Judge Sally Tarnowski upheld this week, charges of intentional and reckless discharge of a firearm, ruling there was sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to a jury trial.
“The pause before the first volley of four shots, the pause before the second volley of two shots, combined with the closed door and the victim’s later pleas for help, raise the question of whether or not defendant’s actions were objectively reasonable,” Tarnowski wrote in an 11-page decision.
“The court recognizes the myriad dangers inherent to the job of a police officer,” she added. “The court respects the immense difficulties raised by split second decisions in circumstances where the lives of citizens and the lives of officers are in danger. However, based upon the complaint and the record before it, the court concludes that defendant’s motion to dismiss must be denied.”
Fyle, according to the report, still has a bullet lodged in his back and has retained an attorney.
As you watch the video below, the prosecutor’s statement becomes apparent; an innocent man was permanently injured and nearly killed because of a cop’s “poor judgment, fueled by fear.”
While this case is certainly shocking, it is by no means isolated. For years, the Free Thought Project has been reporting on cops shooting through closed doors. You can see some of these stories at this link.