Police officer shot in Waseca is Freeborn County resident who was 'gravely injured' (with press conference video)

"This is the worst nightmare a law enforcement agency can face, and we’re living it right now,” Waseca Chief of Police Penny Vought said.

Posted: Jan 7, 2020 5:34 AM
Updated: Jan 7, 2020 2:51 PM

Officer Arik Matson

Tyler Janovsky/Minnesota Department of Corrections

WASECA, Minn. - A Freeborn County resident who is a police officer in Waseca was shot and "gravely injured" on Monday night.

Authorities identified the severely injured officer as Arik Matson, 32, of Freeborn, who has been with Waseca police since 2013 and is a D.A.R.E. officer.

Matson is in critical but stable condition in the Twin Cities, authorities said Tuesday morning.

"This is the worst nightmare a law enforcement agency can face, and we’re living it right now,” Waseca Chief of Police Penny Vought said. 

GoFundMe set up for Officer Matson. 

The person in custody for the shooting, 37-year-old Tyler Janovsky, had an active warrant for drug-related charges. 

Janovsky is in custody and was transported by ambulance to the same hospital after he was shot. He suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Waseca police officers do not wear body cameras. The BCA will determine whether squad cameras captured the incident.

Rep. Jim Hagedorn said he spoke with the family of Matson following the shooting.

"Tragically, last night Waseca Police Officer and Freeborn, MN resident, Arik Matson, was reportedly ambushed and severely wounded while responding to a domestic disturbance complaint in Waseca. Officials are expected to provide an update on Officer Matson's condition later this morning. I communicated with Arik's father, retired Albert Lea Police Officer Tim Matson, overnight. On behalf of all southern Minnesotans, I offered our deepest concerns and prayers for Arik and his family.

"The work of our police officers can be exceptionally difficult and unpredictable. Dealing with illicit illegal drug use and trafficking, people suffering from mental illness, and felony crimes perpetrated by evil people far too often place the lives of those who protect and serve at risk."

Matson was shot in the head during the incident after responding to a report of a suspicious person with a flashlight.

Janovsky was arrested but has not been charged. 

"To our men and women in Blue: We appreciate you and have your backs! Hagedorn said.

Vought said while the department deals with the shooting, it still has a community to serve.

“We have to remain strong and diligent. We still have a job to do," she said. 

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