BCA identifies officer, subject involved in fatal Austin police shooting

Officials have identified the officer involved in a fatal shooting in Austin last week and the man who was killed.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says  Zachery Gast was the officer who discharged his weapon.  Gast has been with the Austin Police Department for two years.  He’s currently on standard administrative leave.

The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man who died as Kokou Christopher Fiafonou, 38, of Austin.  Fiafonou died of homicide due to multiple gunshot wounds, according to a release from the BCA.  Police say a knife was recovered at the scene near his body.

The Austin Police Department does not use body-worn cameras, but squad video captured portions of the incident.

Police were initially called on Dec 22 to reports of a knife-wielding man.  The man apparently refused to comply with verbal commands and threatened people in an apartment building.  Police say they attempted to negotiate with the man for over 24 hours, but he eventually confronted them in the parking lot of the Kwik Trip, which led to the shooting.

The BCA investigation is ongoing.  The agency will provide its findings to the Mower County Attorney’s Office for review.

 

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