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Trooper named top officer

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — A State Patrol trooper who risked his own life to stop a possible shooting spree, was honored Monday as the Minnesota Peace Officer of the Year.

Last October, Dean Smith responded to a call from the East Grand Forks Police Department that a heavily armed man was firing a weapon and was within two blocks of a high school and a college.

Smith responded to the scene with an M-16 rifle, ordering officers to set up a perimeter, after which he confronted the suspect. The suspect ignored Smith’s order to drop his weapon, instead turning toward Smith and firing in his direction, striking the trash bin he was using for cover.

Smith returned fire, striking the suspect in the hip. The suspect crawled around the corner and committed suicide.

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The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which bestows the honor, said Smith’s decisions prevented a potential tragedy.

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