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Area police officer loses license, is jailed for firing a gun in Granite Falls

Alex John Schlangen

A law enforcement officer who served in several southwestern Minnesota departments has lost his license and been sentenced to 15 days in jail for reckless discharge of a firearm in a town. Alex John Schlangen, age 29, of Richmond, served with the Kanabec County and Isanti County Sheriff’s Offices, the Belgrade-Brooten Police Department, and the Upper Sioux Tribal Community Police.

According to court documents, on the evening of Feb. 5, 2022, the Granite Falls Police Department was called to a report of a firearm discharged in a city residence. They found Schlangen, a female victim, and several other witnesses in the residence.

Initial reports indicated Schlangen and the woman had been arguing, and there had been a physical altercation. According to the female Schlangen stated he intented to commit suicide when he went into the basement and fired a handgun into a wall. He was not on duty as a law officer at the time.

When officers arrived at the residence, Schlangen first denied that he had fired a gun. When officers asked if they could go examine the basement walls for a bullet hole, Schlangen told them “I’ll admit it, it was discharged.”

The criminal complaint alleged Schlangen had also committed domestic assault in the presence of witnesses earlier that evening, but that charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

On May 5, Schlangen pleaded guilty in Yellow Medicine County Court to felony reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality. A charge of domestic assault was dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Schlangen was sentenced to 15 days local confinement and two years probation.

In addition, in separate proceedings, the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training revoked Schlangen’s peace officer license.



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