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New Hope City Hall Shooter Raymond Kmetz Shouldn't Have Had Gun: Cops

Kmetz, 68, suffered from mental illness and had previously threatened government workers before he wounded two officers at a Monday night ceremony.

The Minnesota man who opened fire during a police swearing-in ceremony this week, wounding two officers, had a history of mental illness and was on the state's list of people prohibited from owning a gun, authorities said Wednesday. Suspect Raymond Kmetz, 68, was shot to death by officers who returned fire Monday night at New Hope City Hall. Kmetz had bought ammunition for his pistol-grip shotgun — with the serial number scrubbed off — on the day of the shooting, New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier told reporters. "I can’t speak to his motive," the chief added. "I have no clue what his true motive was."

Minnesota state law bans anyone who has been confined to a mental-illness facility from having a gun. Kmetz's family said he had spent previous years in treatment centers, NBC affiliate KARE reported, and they said they were worried he could become volatile. He was also "well-known" to authorities after run-ins with police and government officials over property that he was trying to sell, Fournier said.

A camera in the New Hope council chambers caught some of the frightening scene as people shouted, "Get down!" The two officers who were injured, Joshua Eernisse and Beau Schoenhard, have been released from the hospital and are recovering, authorities said.



— Erik Ortiz