Dennis Anderson: Tragedy behind, hunt of a lifetime ahead: Waseca officer Arik Matson leaves for Alaska adventure

Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune on

Published in Outdoors

Three years ago almost to the day, Arik Matson cut short his dinner at a Waseca restaurant and sped in his police cruiser to a changed life.

A call had come in about a backyard prowler with a flashlight, and Arik, then 31 years old and wearing Waseca Police Department Badge 222, was going to check it out.

At home in nearby Freeborn, Arik's wife, Megan, about the same time was putting their two daughters to bed, Audrina, then 7 years old, and Maklynn, 5, and planning to turn in early herself.

None of them could have known that their lives were about to intersect with that of Tyler Robert Janovsky, 37, a "meth head'' as one cop would later describe him.

Janovsky was the guy in the backyard in the 900 block of Third Avenue S.E. in Waseca, and when Arik arrived along with two other officers, Janovsky climbed onto a garage roof and started shooting.

One round struck Arik in the head, shattering the right frontal lobe of his brain.



Arik was 9 years old when his uncle Paul Matson first took him duck hunting.

Maybe it was the smell of a dank marsh on an early morning. Or perhaps the sight of blue-winged teal cupping their wings over decoys.

Or simply the opportunity to be with his uncle.


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