ROCHESTER, Minn. – State investigators are released the name of the Rochester police officer who fired his weapon during an incident on Wednesday.
Patrol Officer James Perry is identified as the shooter. He has been with the Rochester Police Department for four years. Authorities say Perry fired on a vehicle driven by Dawante Atkins, 26 of Rochester, as Atkins was trying to run over another Patrol Officer Nick Kruger.
Rochester police say Atkins was driving erratically around 2 am Wednesday and when officers tried to pull him over, Atkins pulled into an apartment complex, crashed into a squad car and tried to hit Officer Kruger. That’s when Officer Perry fired multiple shots at Atkins’ vehicle.
Atkins was eventually tased and taken into custody. He’s facing charges of 2nd degree assault with a dangerous weapon and probation violation. Officer Kruger, who was been with the Rochester Police Department for two years, was treated for injuries and released from the hospital on Wednesday.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says it is reviewing body camera and dashboard camera footage of the incident as part of its investigation. When finished, the BCA will present its findings to the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office.
Both Perry and Atkins are administrative leave, as is standard in these situations. The Police Department has released the following information on them:
Officer Perry was hired by the Rochester Police Department as a part time Community Service Officer in May of 2016. In March of 2017, he was hired as a full time Police Officer. He has no disciplinary action in his 4-year tenure. Officer Perry has received the following awards:
November of 2017 – Department Lifesaving Award
June of 2018 – Letter of Appreciation
August of 2019 – Letter of Appreciation
Officer Kruger was hired by the Rochester Police Department as a full time Police Officer in March of 2018. Officer Kruger has no disciplinary action in his 2-year tenure. He has received the following awards:
January of 2019 – Letter of Appreciation
January of 2020 – Department Award of Honor – Valor - Lifesaving