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Waseca Police Officer Arik Matson Critically Injured In Shooting; Suspect Tyler Janovsky Also Hospitalized

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Waseca Police Officer Arik Matson is fighting for his life after he was shot in the head Monday night.

The shooting happened in Waseca shortly just after 8 p.m. at a home on the 900 block of 3rd Avenue Southeast.

About 9,000 people call Waseca home. The community, full of small businesses and large farms, is now aching. Officers are now working to regain calm and do their jobs in honor of an officer who did his.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting, says four officers were responding to a disturbance at the home when shots were fired. That's when an officer later identified as Matson, 32, was shot in the head. He was airlifted to North Memorial Health hospital in Robbinsdale. Matson, from Freeborn, is in critical, but stable condition as of early Tuesday evening.

The BCA has released few details about what led up to the shooting, other than that it happened in a matter of minutes.

Waseca Police Chief Penny Vought spoke about Matson, saying he has been with the department since 2013.

Vought called this scenario the "worst possible nightmare" for those in the community, and asked for privacy and prayers at this time.

"The best thing here is that people lift each other up they support each other and help each other," Vought said.

READ MORE: 'He Gave A Darn About The People He Dealt With': Community Honors Officer Arik Matson After Shooting

Take a walk down Main Street in Waseca Tuesday, and it becomes clear that Matson is a loved member of this community. You can see the support here asking for prayers, that's what so many are doing Tuesday night.

Matson is just as committed to his community as he is to his family, serving as a volunteer firefighter and elected city council member in Freeborn. He also teaches Waseca fifth graders how to make healthy lifestyle decisions as DARE officer.

"We've been in contact as a group of administrators talking about how do we support kids through this because we have a lot of kids who have built relationships with Officer Matson through the years," Waseca Schools Superintendent Tom Lee said.

Matson has worked with roughly 1,000 students over the years, leaving a strong impression on many.

"There could not be a stronger liaison between law enforcement community and schools," Vought said.

The son of a retired police office, Matson also serves on the department's SWAT team.

The shooting suspect, identified as 37-year-old Tyler Janovsky, suffered non-life threatening injuries after being shot by other officers. He was also taken to the North Memorial Health, where he remains as of early Tuesday evening.

WCCO found documents that show Janovsky had been wanted for a month, for running a methamphetamine lab and having guns illegally. Officers didn't recognize Janovsky during the quick exchange, but neighbors had been told to look out for him.

Tyler Robert Janovsky
Tyler Janovsk (credit: Waseca Police)

Waseca Police officers do not wear body cameras, but BCA investigators will be reviewing dash camera footage.

The GoFundMe page for Officer Matson is raising tens of thousands of dollars, showing that the communities he has served for years are now rallying around him.

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