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Roseville man who shot police officer had long history of severe mental illness

7 April 2022

The Roseville man who died after a shootout with police on Tuesday was twice committed to psychiatric treatment facilities for severe bipolar disorder, paranoia and delusional beliefs that made him dangerous to himself and others, according to court files.

The suspect, who was shot in the groin by police and later died at Regions Hospital, also had harassed and threatened neighbors, culminating in a “violent outburst” at a Stillwater home last year, according to court records.

Authorities have identified Jesse Henri Werling, 53, as the man who opened fire in his Roseville neighborhood on Tuesday night, eluding police for an hour and firing more than 100 rounds at officers and homes. Roseville officer Ryan Duxbury was shot in the face by Werling and remained hospitalized at Regions on Thursday.

Werling was living in a home on Lake Owasso that’s owned by his father in the neighborhood where the shootout occurred, according to public records.

Roseville Police Chief Erika Scheider said police have responded to 15 mental health calls connected to Werling. Court records document a history of mental illness including violent and erratic behavior dating to at least 2018.

A St. Joseph’s Hospital mental health clinical manager first petitioned Ramsey County District Court to commit Werling in April 2018. A Ramsey County District judge signed a temporary order later that month committing Werling to inpatient care, finding that “serious physical harm to the respondent and others is likely if the proposed patient is not confined.”

Another Ramsey County judge signed a stayed commitment order through October 2018, also authorizing the use of antipsychotics. That petition for judicial commitment was dismissed in October 2018.

A second St. Joseph’s Hospital administrator sought to commit Werling in June 2019, describing him as suffering from bipolar disorder and being “manic with psychosis.” A Ramsey County judge issued a five-page ruling in June 2019 ordering Werling committed for no longer than six months.

“He has recently engaged in multiple behaviors that are physically dangerous to self and others, including jumping out of a moving car while his father was attempting to take him to the hospital, aggressing at hospital staff, exposing self to neighbor children, filming and threatening neighbors and hurling projectiles at emergency first responders,” Ramsey County District Judge Timothy Mulrooney wrote in his order.

A July 2019 report from Radias Health indicates a case manager was working with Werling to “improve and manage mental health symptoms.” That second commitment case was dismissed in December 2019.

Werling lived in Stillwater at some point after that 2019 commitment. A neighbor obtained a restraining order against Werling, describing his behavior as “erratic and unpredictable” and noting that neighbors had called police on him “at least a dozen times.”

In December 2020, Werling showed up at a neighbor’s back door, speaking incoherently, his face covered in food. Werling was holding a child’s jump rope in what appeared to be an effort to return it.

Fearful, the neighbor refused to open the door but gave Werling a smile and a thumbs up through the window. Werling began yelling and kicking the door.

“It was terrifying,” the neighbor wrote. “… I do not feel safe in my home if I know he is nearby. This incident was completely filled with rage and erratic. How can we predict when his next violent outburst will be?”

Police arrived and took Werling for another 72-hour mental health hold. Werling later was charged with felony property damage, but the case was pending at the time of his death.

A Washington County District judge issued a restraining order against Werling in April 2021 for the door-kicking incident and that stay-away order was extended until April 2023.

Retired law Professor Eric Janus said that absent a violent crime, these types of mental health commitments tend to be brief.

“Under normal circumstances, these could be fairly short, especially with mental issues that are responsive to medication,” said Janus, retired president and dean of Mitchell Hamline School of Law. “Once the mental illness is under control and the person can survive on his own in the community, he would be discharged.”

If medications are effective, Janus said, the constitution dictates they be let go. But individuals do go off medications, he said, which can end up resulting in another commitment.

The Minnesota Bureau Criminal of Apprehension has taken over the investigation, which includes officer-worn body camera footage. The BCA also recovered a .22 caliber scoped lever-action rifle near where Werling was shot. It’s unclear where Werling obtained the rifle.

The BCA also identified the two Roseville officers who fired at Werling as Boua Chang and Bryan Anderson. Chang has been with the department for 11 years and Anderson is a 16-year veteran of the force. Both are on standard administrative leave.

This post was originally published on this site

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