ST. JOSEPH -- It was 20 years ago today when a St. Joseph police officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop on a frigid winter night.

It was about 9:15 p.m. on the night of January 29th, 1996 when St. Joseph Police Officer Brian Klinefelter made a traffic stop on Stearns County Road 75. Officer Klinefelter was stopping a pickup truck that was believed to be involved in an Albany liquor store robbery just minutes before.

Klinefelter was shot several times as he made contact with the driver of the truck and his two passengers. The truck sped off, leaving Klinefelter lying on the frozen pavement bleeding to death. Klinefelter died at the scene.

Later, responding officers shot and killed the triggerman, Thomas Kantor, after he broke into a home and kidnapped the owner and held him hostage while eluding police in a car chase.

Kantor's two accomplices, Brian Ederhoff and Kenneth Roering were found underneath a deck in west St. Cloud, arrested, and charged with first degree murder.

Ederhoff accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to prison with the possibility of release after 24 years with good behavior. Roering pleaded guilty after two mistrials and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Klinefelter was survived by his wife and young daughter.