Duluth police officer acquitted in 2020 shooting of unarmed man

A Duluth police officer who shot a man while responding to a domestic violence call in 2020 has been found not guilty. 

After three hours of deliberations, a St. Louis County jury found Duluth officer Tyler Leibfried not guilty of second-degree assault and intentional discharge of a firearm that endangers the safety of another. 

Leibfried was charged in 2020 in connection to the Sept. 12, 2020, incident. According to court documents, Leibfried responded to a possible domestic incident at the Kingsley Heights Apartments in downtown Duluth. He thought he heard two gunshots coming from the apartment, so he fired his gun six times through the door of Jared Fyle's apartment. Fyle was unarmed, and the shooting left him with a bullet wound in the back. 

In a statement after the verdict, St. Louis County Attorney Kim Maki said: 

"We appreciate the hard work and attentiveness of the jury throughout these proceedings. Ever since receiving and reviewing the results of the investigation in this case, it has been our conclusion that Officer Leibfried’s use of deadly force against Jared Fyle on September 12, 2020, was not reasonable under the circumstances. Further, we believed that the facts of the case met our office’s charging standard, which requires a reasonable likelihood of conviction. 

"Guided by the law and the facts, our office prosecuted the charges as we would any other case and presented that case to a jury of Mr. Leibfried’s peers. The jury took the case seriously, deliberated thoughtfully, and rendered a verdict in accordance with the facts as they found them and the law as given to them by the court," Maki added. "The St. Louis County Attorney’s Office respects the jury’s decision and will continue to work diligently, alongside our partners in law enforcement, for the good of everyone in our community."