Update: Jutz funeral set for Friday at Frazee High School
Funeral services are set for Friday afternoon for a 19-year veteran of the Detroit Lakes Police Department who died Sunday evening near his home from a gunshot wound, apparently self-inflicted.
Patrol Officer Chad Jutz, 40, was well-regarded and active both in Detroit Lakes and the Frazee community, where his family has deep roots, said Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon, who was serving as spokesman for the family.
"He died of a gunshot wound," Gordon said. "No foul play is suspected."
Jutz was not under any kind of investigation, Gordon added.
His body was found by a friend about 8 p.m. Sunday on wooded recreational land that Jutz owned off County Road 54, "down the road a way," from the house he shared with his wife and four children.
Gordon declined to provide details about the case because it is still officially under investigation.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is handling the investigation because it would be emotionally difficult for local officers, who knew Jutz.
Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. Friday at the Frazee High School, with Father Xavier Ilango officiating. Burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery.
Visitation is Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Frazee.
The Detroit Lakes Police Department reopened today and officers were back on patrol. The office was closed Monday and Tuesday and county deputies, White Earth tribal police officers and part-time officers handled patrol duties for city officers.
"A tragedy like this affects law enforcement like a family," Gordon said.
"You're with that person day in and day out, you're always in the (patrol) car together -- the bonds are there ... We wanted to help out with their grieving process," he added. "It's a huge loss in a department that size."
There are 16 officers, investigators and other employees in the police department, including Chief Tim Eggebraaten, who appeared at a special meeting of the Detroit Lakes City Council Tuesday and updated council members on the status of the police department.
A crisis team meeting was held Monday at the Detroit Lakes Fire Hall for members of the police department, fire department and others, Gordon said.
The formal debriefing was led by trained officers from the Fargo and Moorhead police departments and the Clay County Sheriff's Department, and was very helpful, Eggebraaten said.
Deputies and tribal police were filling in during a time of grief and strong emotions, much like they did when Mahnomen County Deputy Chris Dewey was shot in 2009.
Becker County deputies and dispatchers filled in for Mahnomen County sheriff's staff for more than a week after that shooting, Gordon said.
Tribal Police Chief Randy Goodwin and Gordon wanted the city police officers "to have the ability to work through the process," Gordon said. "We want people in the community to know that the (law enforcement) people who show up are focused on their problem."
At the council meeting, Eggebraaten thanked deputies and tribal police officers for their help and said the community has been supportive of the police department during the past few days.
County Road 54 is also known as the Hidden Hills Road, and Gordon said officers spent about three hours doing traffic control there Sunday evening after news of the shooting broke on social media.
After the call came in, a half dozen Detroit Lakes police cars and two St. Mary's EMS ambulances -- spaced over several minutes -- were seen speeding down Highway 10 with their emergency lights and sirens activated. The sirens were heard from Floyd Lake to Frazee.
Less than an hour after the incident, the news had spread widely throughout the community via social media like Facebook, Gordon said.
On Sunday evening, there was a steady stream of motorists on the Hidden Hills Road, and officers turned away well-meaning people who wanted to stop by with condolences for the family.
"Rest in peace, Chad!" said one Facebook post from a young woman. "You are missed by so many already! You are forever in my memories! You were an amazing dad and an amazing friend to my family and there won't be a day we won't miss you."
"Chad," wrote one man. "You were an awesome police officer and an amazing person. I have always looked up to you. You were always willing to help when I called. Rest in peace my friend and God Bless You."
And this from another young person: "Very sorry for this terrible loss. Chad you will be greatly missed. Thank you for the impact you had on all of our lives and for the love and kindness you brought to the world. Our hearts are broken."
The death of the usually amiable, upbeat Jutz shocked both law enforcement and the wider community.
"We have had this happen before with public employees," Gordon sad, "but never with anybody this well known and out in the community."
Arrangements are being handled by the Furey Funeral Home in Frazee. See the obituary on Page 6A for more information.