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Troopers involved in Miracle Mile traffic stop return to work

The three troopers who conducted the May 5, 2021, traffic stop were placed on paid administrative leave that day and returned to work on May 11.

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Rochester police and Minnesota State Patrol officers investigate an incident at the Miracle Mile Shopping Center parking lot Wednesday morning, May 5, 2021. (Ken Klotzbach / kklotzbach@postbulletin.com)

The three troopers assigned to the Minnesota State Patrol Commercial Vehicle unit who were placed on administrative leave following the death of a man by suicide during a traffic stop returned to work earlier this week.

Michael Charles Apicella, 63, of Black River Falls, Wis., died on May 5 of self-inflicted gunshot wounds following a traffic stop at the Miracle Mile shopping center conducted by troopers assigned to the Minnesota State Patrol Commercial Vehicle unit.

RELATED: BCA identifies truck driver who died Wednesday of self-inflicted gunshot wounds

The troopers who conducted the stop and witnessed Apicella's death were identified by a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension spokeswoman as Lt. David Hanson, Technical Sgt. Warren Schroden and Technical Sgt. Stephen Willert.

The troopers were placed on administrative leave following the traffic stop because of the "type of incident, not for a disciplinary investigation," Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson wrote in an email. They returned to work on May 11.

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The incident remains under investigation by BCA and the Rochester Police Department. No other details have been released on the circumstances leading up to Apicella's death.

Editor's note: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

Emily Cutts is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. She joined the Post Bulletin in July 2018 after stints in Vermont and Western Massachusetts.
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