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Authorities identify suspect shot by Woodbury police; officers' names released

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Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

State authorities have identified the suspect shot by police at a Woodbury motel.

The state Department of Public Safety announced late Friday that the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office identified the man as 19-year-old Mark E. Henderson of St. Paul. Henderson was shot after officers responded to a 911 call around 1 a.m. Friday at the Red Roof Inn. Henderson was not armed when police shot him, but they believed he was as he approached them and did not follow police commands, according to the Public Safety Department. He later died.

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The BCA, which is leading the officer-involved shooting investigation, also said police arrested a 25-year-old Maplewood man for alleged sexual misconduct, robbery and kidnapping in connection with the incident.

Three Woodbury police officers placed on administrative leave following the shooting are: Anthony Ofstead, who's been with the department 11 years; Stacey Krech, a five-year veteran of the department; and Natalie Martin, who's been with Woodbury for two years.

According to the BCA announcement:

Police were called to the motel at 1806 Wooddale Avenue at 1:10 a.m. for a disturbance in a room. The officers encountered a man who pointed a gun at them. They stepped back, shouted commands and called for back-up.

The officers heard a gunshot in the room and then a man, identified as Henderson, rushed from the room and toward the officers. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting, said the officers told BCA agents they believed Henderson was armed and not complying with police commands. They shot him. No weapon was found on Henderson.

The investigation also found that the original gunshots were fired from inside the motel room by 24-year-old Demetrius S. Ballinger. Police said Ballinger refused to leave the room or to let seven other people exit.

The Washington County SWAT team was called to assist and negotiate with Ballinger. After a successful negotiation, Ballinger was arrested shortly before 5 a.m. He was booked into Washington County Jail on suspicion of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and aggravated robbery. Formal criminal charges are expected next week.

The officers' paid administrative leave is standard practice in a police-involved shooting.

The BCA said more details will be released when Ballinger is charged.

Stay with the Bulletin for updates to this story.

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