Squad lights

Rural Chaska resident James Howard Klein, 32, has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault, and one count of possessing a firearm as a felon, following a Brooklyn Park officer-involved shooting March 16.

Officers responded to a shoplifting call at a Walmart on Lakeland Avenue North when they located Klein in the parking lot, according to the criminal complaint. Klein allegedly kept his hand hidden in his pocket and began walking away.

The complaint states after Klein refused orders to stop, Officer Charles Cudd used a Taser on Klein. Cudd has been with the Brooklyn Park Police Department for 14 years.

“The Taser had minimal effect,” the complaint stated.

Klein then ran away and allegedly fired a gun at one of the officers, who returned fire.

The officer said Klein “pulled a gun on me out there and started shooting and I returned fire,” according to the complaint. An officer returned fire twice and knocked Klein to the ground. Klein had additional ammunition, the complaint alleges.

He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening gunshot wounds to his leg and hand, where he remains under guard by officers. The complaint said no officers were shot.

Klein has several previous convictions, including second-degree drug possession and ineligible firearm possession from 2013. He remains ineligible to have a firearm, the complaint stated.

Two people at the scene were briefly detained and released, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Officer Dane Lazenberry, with the department for one year, was also involved. He and Cudd are on standard administrative leave, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.


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