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Man fatally shot by police in Hermantown had warrants out

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DULUTH — The man fatally shot by law enforcement officers in Hermantown on Saturday, April 4, had an extensive criminal record, with convictions including robbery, assault and multiple drug offenses.

Timothy Russell Majchrzak also served a 70-month federal prison sentence for illegally possessing a semi-automatic rifle and three shotguns, according to records.

At the time of his death, the 37-year-old was wanted by authorities for failing to appear in court to face charges of violating a domestic abuse order for protection. Warrants were issued in two separate cases in March.

Majchrzak was fatally shot by authorities Saturday after allegedly fleeing police on a motorcycle, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Two Hermantown police officers and a St. Louis County sheriff’s deputy pursued Majchrzak through Hermantown at speeds in excess of 100 mph before calling off the chase, the BCA reported. The shooting reportedly occurred when he was spotted a short time later by two deputies and attempted to flee on foot after his motorcycle became stuck.


The BCA has not detailed the circumstances of the shooting, other than noting that a gun was recovered at the scene. Majchrzak also was struck by a squad car, the agency reported, but a medical examiner concluded his death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds.

Long history of run-ins with law

Court records show that Majchrzak had frequent run-ins with the law over much of his adult life.

In 2000, at age 18, he was convicted of aggravated second-degree robbery for the hold-up of a Woodland video store. According to a Duluth News Tribune story from the time, Majchrzak wore a ski mask, “suggested” he had a weapon in his pocket and demanded $400 in cash from the Movies Plus Video Store.

Majchrzak later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years of probation. That same year, he was convicted of second-degree assault and was sentenced to three years in prison, according to records.

His record also includes multiple drug and alcohol offenses, with court documents indicating Majchrzak had a “long history of substance abuse, including marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.”

In December 2005, he was again arrested after a raid at his Duluth residence by local and federal authorities, who recovered multiple firearms, ammunition and drug paraphernalia, according to federal court documents.

Majchrzak pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to nearly six years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was discharged from prison in November 2012.

In a subsequent letter to the court, Majchrzak told a judge that he “took many self-help courses, college courses, took time for reflection and even became an ordained minister” while in prison.


“All of these things I did to have a positive and beneficially rewarding life upon my release for both myself and my son’s sake,” he wrote in the September 2013 letter seeking to amend the terms of his release.

After his release from prison, Majchrzak worked for a landscaping business and an electronics disposal company, according to documents. He also reported that he had obtained a commercial driver’s license and had an opportunity to drive water tankers for the oilfield industry.

Majchrzak was more recently charged with misdemeanor domestic assault, though the charge was continued for dismissal in August. He was, however, convicted of violating a domestic abuse no-contact order and was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation.

At the time of his death, Majchrzak was facing two pending charges of violating a domestic abuse order for protection. He had been ordered to stay away from the victim in November after she filed a petition in civil court.

In Douglas County, Majchrzak also was facing felony charges of possession of marijuana and party to burglary.

Family members declined to address Majchrzak’s history or the circumstances of his death.

The BCA said it would provide additional information, including the identities of the deputies involved, once initial interviews are completed.

-- Tom Olsen, Forum News Service

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