Police officer shot in Lake City

1:26 PM, Dec 19, 2011   |    comments
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LAKE CITY, Minn. - SWAT officers surrounded a house Monday and nearby schools were locked down after a man shot a police officer, critically wounding him, then apparently retreated into a house, authorities said.

Police Chief Gary Majchrzak said the shooting happened after 8:30 a.m. when two officers went to a house for a reported domestic situation involving a handgun. When they arrived at the house, a man shot one of the officers.

Authorities identified the suspect as Alan Sylte Jr., 25, of Hager City, Wis. He does not live in the house but was apparently involved in a domestic situation with a woman there. The woman left the residence before the officer was shot, and it was believed she was unharmed.

The officer's was identified as 32-year-old Shawn Schneider. He was taken to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, where Majchrzak said he was in critical condition.

Majchrzak said authorities believed Sylte went back into the house after the shooting. But authorities have not had contact with him, so they warned residents he is considered armed and dangerous. Officials believed he had a small-caliber handgun and fired two shots at the officer.

Authorities had no immediate details on the nature of the domestic situation.

Schools in Lake City were locked down all day. As of 4 p.m. - after the school day ended - students were still being kept inside. Evening school activities, including a winter band concert, were canceled.

"We don't feel comfortable releasing kids ... we don't know if all of our neighborhoods are safe," said Superintendent Craig Junker. "The safest place for our children to be is in our schools."

Junker said the lockdown would continue until law enforcement gave the all-clear. About 1,200 students in the school district were affected, including students at Lincoln High and Middle schools and Bluff View Elementary. St. John's Lutheran School was also locked down.

Sylte has a short court record in Wisconsin, including charges of battery and disorderly conduct in 2006, but those charges were dismissed.

About 100 officers and deputies from all over southeastern Minnesota are on the scene, including Lake City, Goodhue and Wabasha County, SWAT Teams from Olmsted and Wabasha counties and Minnesota State Patrol.

There are only ten law enforcement officers in Lake City.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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