Waseca police officer shot in the head, gravely injured

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, Life/Enterprise

A Waseca Police Officer was shot in the head and “gravely injured” while responding to a report of a suspicious person with a flashlight in the backyard residence on the 900 block of 4th Avenue SE in Waseca after 8 p.m. on Monday night, Jan. 6. The suspect was shot twice and sustained non-life threatening injuries.

The injured officer has been identified as 32-year-old Arik Matson, who has been with the Waseca Police Department since 2013. According to Waseca Police Chief Penny Vought, Matson is a father, husband, a “beloved Waseca PD D.A.R.E. officer,” and is a member of the patrol unit and local SWAT team. He is the son of retired Albert Lea Officer Tim Matson.

The suspect, who has been identified as 37-year-old Tyler Robert Janovsky of Faribault, who was wanted by law enforcement regarding a drug-related charge.

During a Tuesday morning press conference, it was disclosed that Matson was one of four officers who responded to the report of suspicious activity and located Janovsky. According to Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans, Officer Matson was shot and then the officers shot Janovsky.

Both Matson and Janovsky were transported by air ambulance to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.

Evans reported that Officer Matson was shot in the head and was gravely injured. “He is in critical, but stable condition,” he stated.

“This is the worst nightmare a law enforcement agency can face, and we’re living it right now,” stated Chief Vought, who asked people to pray for Matson.

According to Evans, Janovsky has not been formally charged in connection with the shooting.

Waseca Police officers do not wear body cameras. They do have dash cameras.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident.

A GoFundMe page has been established for Matson's family.

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