Widow of fallen deputy tells Gov. Walz not to attend funeral 

Her family also stands by the decision and said Deputy Owen would want it that way.  

A Pope County, Minn., sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Saturday while responding to a domestic incident in the town of Cyrus.

The widow of Pope County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Owen who was killed in the line of duty on Saturday night has told Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz he is not welcome at her husband’s funeral.

Deputy Owen’s wife, Shannon, confirmed to Alpha News that when Gov. Walz called to offer his condolences, she told him not to show up on Saturday because “he does not support law enforcement.”

Her family also stands by the decision and said Deputy Owen would want it that way.

Funeral services for Owen will be Saturday at the Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood at 10:30 a.m.

Deputy Owen died Saturday after being shot on his 44th birthday while responding to a domestic assault call in Cyrus, Minn.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified 34-year-old Bryan Nygard as the man who killed Owen. Nygard also died during the incident. A press release Wednesday from the BCA said Deputy Owen died after being shot three times.

Pope County Deputy Brody Merrill was struck by a bullet in the upper chest in the vest.

Starbuck Police Officer Alex Olson was hit in the ankle. Both officers are expected to make a full recovery.

Some law enforcement support groups and family members began to ask why flags were not lowered to half-staff by Monday in honor of Deputy Owen. They called and emailed the governor’s office making the request. Finally, by Tuesday afternoon, Walz responded. At the time, his office ordered flags at state buildings to be lowered from sunrise to sunset on Saturday when the fallen deputy will be laid to rest.

However, by Wednesday morning the governor’s office ordered all Minnesota flags at half-staff “immediately” until sunset on Saturday in honor and remembrance of Deputy Owen. On social media, many people said it was a move that should have been made from the very beginning.

In addition to his wife, Owen leaves behind a 10-year-old son.

There is a fund set up to help his family through Law Enforcement Labor Services.


Liz Collin

Liz Collin has been a truth-teller for 20 years as a multi-Emmy-Award-winning reporter and anchor. Liz is a Worthington, Minnesota native who lives in the suburbs with her husband, son and loyal lab.