Former Police Chief Killed in Minnesota Hunting Accident

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 14, 2018US News

A former police chief has died from a gunshot wound in what authorities are describing as a hunting accident.

Jay Nelson, 53, was a longtime law enforcement officer who retired in 2015, according to the Becker County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota.

Nelson started working as a deputy sheriff in the office and served in several other law enforcement departments before finishing his career at the Lake Park Police Department as chief of police, starting in 2006.

“Thank you for your years of service and the great memories. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Toots, Jon, and Jake and all of Jay’s family and friends. You will be missed,” the office said.

Died From Gunshot

Nelson was found by sheriff’s deputies in West Sugar Bush Township after they received a call reporting a deceased male in a vehicle on a logging trail.

Deputies responded and identified the victim as Nelson.

A provisional autopsy indicated he died from a gunshot wound.

Media ReleaseNovember 12, 2018Section 25, West Sugar Bush Township, Becker County:On November 10, 2018, at…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Becker County Sheriff's Office‎‏ في الإثنين، ١٢ نوفمبر ٢٠١٨

“This incident appears to be a hunting-related accident, and the sheriff’s office is looking for information that may help identify any individuals or witnesses to this event,” Sheriff Todd Glander said.

Glander wants to hear from people who can help identify anyone who was in the area hunting on Nov. 10, in addition to anyone who may have been in the area and who could have heard the gunshots.

Glander told KFGO that it doesn’t appear that foul play was involved and that the incident happened about 15 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes, on the White Earth Reservation.

Anyone with information was urged to contact the Becker County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 218-847-2661.


An obituary for Nelson said that he was born in Detroit Lakes and grew up there, completing high school in 1983. After retiring from law enforcement, he was working for Rolling R Bison Ranch.

He was married and had two children with his wife Toots.

“Jay was an avid sportsman who enjoyed many hunting and fishing trips with friends and family,” according to the obituary.

“He also enjoyed snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, woodworking, and nature photography in his spare time. Jay loved visiting the Duluth area with his wife Toots, making several trips a year.”

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