OWATONNA (AP) -- Authorities said Sunday they remain puzzled about why a suspect entered a drugstore here with three guns and demanded antibiotics.
The suspect entered Sterling Drug about 8:30 Saturday morning and later had a shootout with police officers. Officer Joel Welinski and the suspect were injured.
Welinski, 44, a 20-year veteran of the Owatonna Police Department, was in fair condition Sunday evening at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester. The suspect was in serious condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Authorities have until Tuesday to decide whether to file charges against the 38-year-old man who shot Welinski.
The suspect, carrying a black bag, entered the drugstore shortly after it opened and demanded antibiotics, though he had no prescription, police said. The pharmacist refused his request, and the man climbed over the counter, prompting a call to 911.
The shooting started when Welinski arrived. The man had two handguns and a high-powered rifle, authorities said. It remained unclear who fired first or how many shots were fired.
Police Chief Gene Fisher, who has been with the department for 35 years, said he believes it was the first time an Owatonna police officer has been shot in the line of duty.
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