Gunshots fired during encounter with suicidal male

Ricky Alan Geving charged with use of deadly force against a peace officer

By Rachel Kytonen

Gunshots were fired during an exchange with a suicidal male late Thursday, Sept. 29. No one was injured or killed, but a Cambridge man is facing charges as a result of his actions.

Ricky Alan Geving, 49, was charged Monday, Oct. 3, in Isanti County District Court with felony, use of deadly force against a peace officer and felony, 2nd degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Ricky Alan Geving

Law enforcement officers received a call at 11:12 p.m. regarding a suicidal male in a camper with a rifle located on the 34550 block of Hastings St. N.E. in the city of Cambridge.

At one point during the situation, Geving lowered the bail of the gun in the direction of law enforcement, causing a Cambridge police officer to fire two shots. A third shot then rang out, which was more of a boom from a shotgun or possibly Geving’s muzzle loader. After another conversation with Investigator Rob Bowker of the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department, Geving surrendered. Also taken into custody was Geving’s muzzle loader and a speed loader, which contained two pellets of black powder and a primer.

Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad explained in court that during the incident, four individuals located in a residence on the property had to be evacuated for their safety. Approximately 11 officers responded to the scene.

“We are incredibly fortunate that the defendant isn’t dead,” Edblad said. “We are incredibly fortunate that any law enforcement officers aren’t dead. We are incredibly fortunate that the four civilians who resided on the property on Hastings Street were not killed. We are fortunate that no neighbors were injured or killed from this situation.”

Edblad said in light of the defendant’s record, that includes a 2006 conviction of failure to register as a predatory offender, and a 2007 conviction of criminal sexual conduct, that bail be set at $500,000 without conditions or $250,000 with conditions.

Judge James Dehn granted Edblad’s bail request, and also set conditions of release that include remain law abiding; submit to a urine analysis prior to release; no use of any mood altering substances unless prescribed by a doctor; no use of alcohol or drugs or entering any liquor bars or establishments; no possession of firearms; to have no contact with two individuals who were in the residence on Hastings Street; to not come within a half-mile of the residence on Hastings Street; and be subject to random drug and alcohol testing.


Criminal Complaint describes the scene

According to the criminal complaint, when Isanti County Deputy Sheriff John McCarty arrived on scene, he noted there was a residence, as well as two campers, on the property on Hastings Street. He approached the larger of the two

campers, and saw Geving sitting inside on the couch facing the door and loading a rifle.

Officers were then informed by Investigator Bowker that he was in contact with Geving. Geving told Bowker he could see the deputies outside, and he would shoot anyone that came to the door.

Deputy McCarthy then moved his patrol vehicle further in the driveway to illuminate the camper with his spotlight. Shortly thereafter, Geving exited the camper and walked north to the front of the residence with the rifle in an aggressive manner. Geving had the rifle at his side pointed in front of him in a manner that lead Deputy McCarthy to believe he was going to shoot the rifle at anyone he came into contact with.

Deputy McCarthy yelled in a very loud voice for Geving to drop the gun, and continued to yell for Geving to drop the gun. Geving failed to comply with the commands.

Moments later, Geving exited the camper with the rifle and began to walk toward Deputy McCarthy’s squad car parked in the driveway. Deputy McCarthy continued to yell for Geving to drop the gun. Geving then walked to the north side of the squad car with his rifle.

The entire time Geving was moving around the area with the rifle, Deputy McCarthy had his duty weapon pointed at him.

At this point, Geving placed the rifle across the hood of Deputy McCarthy’s squad car and positioned the rifle in the direction of law enforcement officers on the roadway.

Deputy McCarthy then heard a weapon fire, and Geving moved away from the squad car. Geving then yelled that the officers needed to put their guns down because he was in charge. Geving was ordered again several times to put his gun down, and he failed to comply. Geving then placed his rifle on the hood of Deputy McCarthy’s squad car.

After a lengthy discussion with Bowker, Geving walked out with his hands in the air, and was arrested.


Situation escalates, shots fired

The criminal complaint also describes the numerous conversations Bowker had with Geving during the situation, including an offer from Bowker to have Geving come out and he would ride with him in the ambulance to take him to the emergency room.

Also, at one point during the situation, cell phone communication with Geving went dead.

As this happened, Geving emerged from the camper with the rifle in his right hand and walked north through the trees in the front yard and stopped in front of the garage. He faced the officers and the rifle was pointing down toward the ground. Geving then began to walk back toward the pop-up camper on the north side of the garage and officers lost sight of him.

Edblad said in court at this point the situation escalated because the officers had lost sight of Geving, and there were no lights on in the area.

Geving then emerged, and he walked toward the officers with the gun in both hands in a defensive mode. Bowker noted Geving’s demeanor and body language made him feel like the situation was going to escalate, and the officers would be forced to use deadly force.

Geving then moved, and lowered the barrel of the gun in the direction of Bowker and other officers. At this point, Cambridge Officer Chad Saelens fired two shots, and eventually Geving surrendered. Deputy Chad Meyer, of the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department, also attempted to fire a round in response to Geving’s actions, but it misfired.

In a press release Edblad stated:

The actions of Officer Saelens and Deputy Meyer have been reviewed by Isanti County Attorney Jeffrey R. Edblad, pursuant to Minn. Stat. 609.066, Authorized Use of Deadly Force by Police Officers.

The determination has been made by Edblad that the use of deadly force by Officer Saelens and Deputy Meyer was legally justified pursuant to Minnesota law, due to the fact that they were using deadly force against Geving while they were in the line of duty and that such deadly force was necessary to protect officers from apparent death or great bodily harm from the actions of Geving.

The case was investigated by the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department, which was assisted at the scene by officers from Braham, Cambridge and Isanti police departments.