New Hope City Hall gunman bought ammo day of shooting

At some point during the day of the shooting at New Hope City Hall, the gunman bought ammo. Police said he shouldn't have had access to a gun at all.

On Monday, Jan. 26, Raymond Kmetz, 68, armed with a shotgun, apparently deliberately fired at New Hope police officers, striking two upon entering City Hall. Two officers returned fire, and Kmetz was killed.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said at a news conference that Kmetz had been civilly committed twice for psychological issues and should not have had access to a gun. Stanek also said police do not know how he got the gun in the first place, the serial number was scratched off.


-During the day on Monday, Kmetz left his residence in Belle Plaine. At some point, he stopped at local store and purchased ammunition

- Also on Monday, Kmetz placed a phone call to an individual with the Hennepin County Court system and asked to get some of his property back

-At approximately 7:15 p.m., Kmetz entered the New Hope City Hall armed with a shotgun, just as the attendees were leaving the Council Chambers

-Kmetz fired deliberately at officers

Demons set in

Kmetz was angry about various pieces of property that were taken away by authorities. Based on his previous civil commitments, police said he shouldn't have had access to a gun.

Homeless and broke, the demons and setbacks led Kmetz to the Belle Plaine senior apartment complex where he'd lived for the last year, where he seemed to be fitting in.

"I asked him to play cards, I wasn't the only one who asked him, we all thought nicest guy you could meet," Dolores Merkley said.

She told Fox 9 people saw Kmetz leave on Monday wearing a long coat. They now believe he was hiding the shotgun he would bring to the New Hope City Council meeting.

The only place that sells ammunition in town is a local hardware store, but they say they don't remember Kmetz.

Attorney Bill Lubov defended him in the cases that would later prohibit him from acquiring a gun, and Lubov says Kmetz never met the legal standard for mental illness and civil commitment.

"Unfortunately, the system didn't have the tools under the present law to address what needed to be done with him," Lubov said.

Kmetz's rants at city council meetings in Crystal and New Hope were odd and unsettling. When he told stories about his troubles with city officials, his friends at the senior apartment would scratch their heads.

"The guys did not believe him because he was a nice guy," Merkley said.

More: Kmetz's sons warned police ‘this was going to happen'

Officers shot are ok

"Due to the swift action and the presence of mind of the officers in the New Hope Police Department, this this critical incident was over in a matter of seconds. We want to make it very clear today that the city of New Hope is --and will continue to be-- a safe community," said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

The two injured officers, Joshua Eernisse and Beau Schoenhard, were released from the hospital on Tuesday, and have expressed gratitude for the public's concern and encouragement.

Crystal PD welcomes back New Hope officers

"At 0700 hours this morning, the Officers of the New Hope Police Department returned to full duty.

The members of the Crystal Police Department were humbled to have been asked to help and honored to have assisted the community of New Hope and our brothers and sisters of the New Hope Police Department during this challenging time.

In truth, many members of the New Hope Police Department did not receive much respite as they were once again called to respond to a crisis in their community last night. As is typical, New Hope Officers rose to the challenge and, along with the assistance of many officers from neighboring agencies, brought the situation to a safe conclusion.

We wish the two officers injured in Monday night's incident a full and speedy recovery and all members of the New Hope Police Department the time and opportunity to heal."

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