Minnesota man who shot officers told wife it was ‘his day to die,’ according to complaint

Oct 13, 2023, 10:43 AM

A Benton County sheriff establishes a security perimeter at the intersection of 186th Avenue NE and...

A Benton County sheriff establishes a security perimeter at the intersection of 186th Avenue NE and Glendorado Road NE near Princeton, Minn., following a "critical incident," Thursday, Oct. 10, 2023. Authorities say a suspect has been arrested after five drug task force officers were shot and wounded while serving a search warrant near the Minnesota city of Princeton. (Tim Evans/Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

(Tim Evans/Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota man accused of shooting five law enforcement officers told his wife it was “his day to die” when he learned that drug task force officers were at his home, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.

Karl Thomas Holmberg, 64, was charged Friday with six counts of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer and six counts of first-degree assault of a peace officer.

The charges stem from an exchange of gunfire Thursday as officers sought to serve a search warrant at his property in rural Glendorado Township, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis.

The officers sustained injuries that were not life-threatening, Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck said Thursday at a news conference.

The complaint says officers knocked and announced, “police, search warrant” before entering the home. The first gunshots were fired seconds later. The shooting led to a nearly four-hour standoff before Holmberg was taken into custody.

It said Holmberg’s wife was inside the home, but was uninjured. The woman told investigators that when she awoke, she told her husband that officers were outside — she could see them through an exterior camera.

Holmberg had several guns laid out on a bed, the complaint stated. “The defendant indicated that it was his day to die,” according to the complaint.

As officers kicked in the door, Holmberg repeatedly said something like, “Don’t do it,” then began shooting through the closed bedroom door using a military-style rifle, according to the complaint. She said Holmberg asked her to join him in fighting the police, but she refused. She told investigators that Holmberg called her a “coward.”

Holmberg was shot in the foot. Interviewed by police at the hospital, he said he didn’t think the officers serving the search warrant “had a right to be there and told them to leave,” according to the complaint.

The complaint said officers found several weapons in the bedroom — handguns, a shotgun, a rifle and one of the officer’s guns — along with shell casings in the bedroom and living room.


Salter reported from O’Fallon, Missouri.

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Minnesota man who shot officers told wife it was ‘his day to die,’ according to complaint