FREEBORN COUNTY, Minn- A Waseca police officer was gravely injured after a shooting Monday, and the community is rallying around the officer.
On Monday evening before 8 pm, Waseca police responded to a call of a suspicious person in the backyard of a residence located at 900 block of 4th Avenue southeast.
Four Waseca police officers responded to the scene including officer Arik Matson. When officers arrived they immediately found 37-year-old Tyler Janovsky of Freeborn County at a neighboring property at the 900 block of 3rd Avenue southeast.
At one point during the encounter Janovsky allegedly shot officer Matson in the head. Officers then allegedly shot Janovsky twice. Janovsky is in custody and was transported by ambulance to north memorial hospital in Robbinsdale for non-life threatening injuries. Matson was transported to the same hospital. He is currently in critical but stable condition.
Before Matson was a Waseca police officer he worked for the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy. Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag says Matson is the type of guy everyone would want on their squad.
"He is fun, he has a great sense of humor,” Freitag said. "Energetic ... he's not one of these guys that would say 'I can't do this.' He would say 'yes, I can do that.' He was a good asset for the sheriff's office."
Freitag says Matson is strong a fighter.
"We are all very concerned Arik was shot in the head,” Freitag said. “ We knew that he was in surgery and after surgery, we received information from those close to him saying that he was wiggling his fingers and toes."
Even though Matson worked at the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office, he has a lot of friends at the Albert Lea Police Department. Adam Conn is a patrolman for the Albert Lea Police Department.
He grew up with Matson in Albert Lea and says their friendship blossomed when Matson joined the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office. To help the Matson family during this incredibly difficult time the Albert Lea Police Department has set up an account in Matson's wife's name at the City and County Employees Credit Union.
"When somebody in law enforcement gets hurt, it's time away from the job,” Conn said. “It’s an expense on the family and everyone has expenses at the home. We are just helping to make it a little bit easier for them. It’s a brotherhood, whether you are male or female when you put this uniform ... we have each other's back."
Also a gofundme account has been set up: https://www.gofundme.com/f/arik-matson-