Patient who killed Aitkin deputy threatened wife a week earlier

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Danny L. Hammond, Minnesota Department of Corrections

The Aitkin County sheriff’s office has released more information on what led to the hospitalization of Danny Hammond and the deadly shooting of Deputy Steve Sandberg on Sunday morning at St. Cloud Hospital.

Hammond was hospitalized in connection with a suicide attempt Oct. 12. One day earlier, Aitkin County deputies, including Sandberg, had been called to his home off State Highway 47 on a report of a domestic assault.

According to a criminal complaint, Korena Hammond threatened to leave her husband after 12 years of marriage. She said her husband told her he’d kill himself if she left him and placed a 9-millimeter pistol to his head. She told police he locked all the doors and windows, had the pistol to her head, and forced her to eat what he said was rat-poisoned food, then finally captured her after she was able to escape, ripping off her clothes and pulling her by her hair. She told police their relationship has been abusive during their entire 25 years together.

The next morning, he let her go, went to her father’s house and spoke to police. The next day, on Oct. 12, police found Hammond passed out on the floor of his house in critical condition after possibly trying to kill himself. He was flown to St. Cloud Hospital. His condition started to improve on Thursday, when the Aitkin County sheriff’s office began monitoring him at the hospital.

On Sunday, he managed to get the gun away from Investigator Seven Sandberg and fatally shot him. Minnesota BCA officials said around 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, 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.

Sandberg, 60, has been with the Aitkin County Sheriff's Department since 1991. He left behind his wife and daughter.

Officers from various agencies spanned Interstate 94 on Sunday as Sandberg was transported from St. Cloud to the Ramsey County medical examiner's office, and again as he was brought back to Aiktin on Monday.