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Dunn County man killed by SWAT team hyped on meth

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — Dunn County Medical Examiner Chris Kruse released a report April 1 saying that a suspected drug dealer killed by a SWAT team had a nearly lethal dose of methamphetamine in his system.

Dennis B. Grohn, 32, was shot and killed February 12 during a struggle with law enforcement officers who were executing a high-risk “no knock” search warrant at Grohn’s home in the Cedar Falls area on 708th Avenue in the Town of Red Cedar.

The day before Grohn was shot and killed, officers from the West Central Drug Task Force, using a confidential informant, had made a controlled buy of two grams of methamphetamine from Grohn at his residence.

The final toxicological results for Grohn show that the blood analysis and the urine screen were both positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine.

According to Kruse’s report, Grohn had .11mg/L of amphetamine in his blood and .77 mg/L of methamphetamine.

“This toxicological analysis reveals Mr. Grohn was heavily under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of his death. The .77 mg/L blood level of methamphetamine represents a near toxic range (fatalities have been reported at .8 to 2.0 mg/L). Further, it is determined based on the urine level that he had been using methamphetamine for some time prior to his death,” Kruse wrote.

Dunn County District Attorney James Peterson issued a decision March 19 that members of the Eau Claire Regional Tactical Team were justified in shooting and killing Grohn while executing the search warrant.

According to Peterson’s report and interviews with the officers involved, Grohn had a history of initiating physical altercations with law enforcement, and, on the night he was killed, Grohn physically attacked the first officer coming through the door and was making growling noises. The second officer saw Grohn fighting with the first officer, saw Grohn’s hand on the officer’s rifle, and fearing for the life of the first officer, saw a clear opportunity and fatally shot Grohn.

The regional SWAT team includes officers from the Menomonie Police Department, the Fall Creek Police Department, the UW-Eau Claire Police Department, the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol.