Community mourns slain Aitkin Co. Sheriff's Deputy at visitation

- Law enforcement, loved ones and community members grieved together at the Thursday visitation for Aitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Sandberg, who was killed by a patient he was guarding at St. Cloud Hospital on Sunday morning. 

Officials are expecting 2,000 to 3,000 officers from across the country to descend on Aitkin for Friday's funeral service. Deputy Sandberg's funeral and procession will be broadcast live on Fox 9 and streaming at (beginning at 11 a.m.)

Aitkin County Sheriff Scott Turner said his department didn’t have a more caring and compassionate person in uniform. 

“You know, it is going to be a big hole to fill," Turner said "He is somebody who was a hometown boy that was so proud to be a part of our family. And we were so proud to have him as a member of our family."

Sandberg, 60, was shot by Danny Leroy Hammond, who was hospitalized after apparently trying to kill himself after terrorizing his wife a week earlier. On Sunday, Minnesota BCA officials said around 5:15 a.m., Hammond got out of his hospital bed and "engaged in an altercation with Sandberg, during which Hammond gained control of Sandberg’s gun and shot him." A hospital security guard Tased Hammond, who "experienced a medical emergency" and later died.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of the fallen deputy. 

Funeral and visitation details

Thursday, October 22
2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Aitkin United Methodist Church
104 2nd St. NW, Aitkin

Friday, October 23
11 a.m.
Aitkin High School
306 2nd St. NW, Aitkin.

Burial following funeral:
Friday October 23
Bennettville Cemetery
County Rd. 11, Bennettville

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