Family of man killed by Washington County deputy in 2018 files federal lawsuit

The family of a Lake Elmo man who was shot and killed by a Washington County deputy in 2018 has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit.

Deputy Brian Krook was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter in March in the death of 23-year-old Benjamin Evans.

Authorities responded to a report of a suicidal armed man in Lake Elmo on April 12, 2018. When deputies arrived, they found Evans kneeling in an intersection with a gun to his head, according to court testimony.

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Evans had moved from St. Louis to Minnesota to be with his girlfriend, and she had recently broken up with him, and he lost his job. On the night of April 11, 2018, after his ex-girlfriend rejected his pleas to get married, he put on his firefighter dress uniform, wrote two suicide notes, then left his house with his gun, according to witness testimony.

The lawsuit states Evans never threatened deputies or pointed the gun at anyone but himself. It also alleges that Krook shot Evans without warning, and no other officers fired.

According to the lawsuit, the sergeant and shift commander at that time had only been in her role for nine months and never received training on dealing with an armed, suicidal person, so she asked Krook to tag along.

Krook, the sheriff’s office and several others are named in the lawsuit, which asks for a jury to determine damages if the case goes to trial.