No charges to be filed against Richfield, Edina police in fatal officer-involved shooting

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced Monday that it will not file criminal charges against Richfield or Edina police for the fatal officer-involved shooting of Brian Quinones-Rosario in September.

Squad car cameras for Richfield and Edina police, plus a Facebook Live video Quinones captured, showed the incident from start to finish.

In the video from Sept. 7, 2019, Quinones is seen driving, during which time the attorney's office said he was violating multiple traffic laws by speeding, making illegal turns, and running a red light.

After witnessing one of the illegal turns shortly after 10 p.m., Edina officer Nicholas Pedersen turned on his squad's emergency lights and siren and directed Quinones to pull over, the attorney's office said.

As Quinones continued driving, he entered Richfield. The attorney's office said Pedersen believed Quinones may have been drunk and attempted a PIT maneuver but missed. However, Quinones slammed on his breaks, and Pedersen parked in front of Quinones' car.

The attorney's office said Pedersen then exited his squad with his gun drawn, and Quinones came up behind him, aggressively pointing a knife in his direction.

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Richfield officer Dylan Schultz was the next officer to arrive on scene and saw Quinones outside his car walking toward Pedersen with a knife. The attorney's office said Schultz attempted to use non-deadly force and used a Taser on Quinones, but he didn't stop.

Quinones bolted toward Pedersen, who the attorney's office said was distracted by other officers arriving, and Pedersen fired three shots at Quinones.

By that time, three other officers were on scene: Richfield officers Macabe Stariha and Joseph Carroll, and Edina officer Benjamin Wenande.

When Schultz discharged his Taser, the attorney's office said Quinones ran at him and yelled, "Kill me, kill me."

At that time, Stariha fired five shots at Quinones. The attorney's office said Quinones then raised his arms toward his midsection, dropped his head, made a slashing gesture with the knife, and then lunged at Carroll, who fired one shot while Stariha fired three additional shots at Quinones.

As Wenande, the last officer to arrive on scene, approached the others, and Quinones moved toward Wenande, he fired a single shot at Quinones.

The attorney's office said Quinones, who'd been shot multiple times, then fell to the ground.

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Schultz and Carroll retrieved a medical kit and rendered first aid before paramedics arrived, but upon their arrival, Quinones was pronounced dead.

An autopsy revealed Quinones was shot seven times, and toxicology results revealed he wasn't under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.

The officers involved also provided statements to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office a few days after the shooting and underwent toxicology testing. The results showed all officers weren't under the influence of any substances at the time of the incident.

"First, I want to acknowledge what a tragic event this was. My condolences go out to Mr. Quinones' friends and family," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a news release. "Our office received hours of video evidence from the Richfield and Edina police squad car cameras and from Mr. Quinones' personal Facebook Live video. When Mr. Quinones left his car after leading police on a chase, he had a knife in his hand. Subsequently, he threatened several officers with the knife. Mr. Quinones refused police requests to stand down and refused to drop the knife.

"Under Minnesota law, it is clear that Officers Pedersen, Schultz, Stariha, Carroll, and Wenande's use of deadly force was necessary, proportional, and objectively reasonable in the face of the apparent threat of death or great bodily harm, and no criminal charges are warranted."

The Richfield Police Department issued a statement Monday following the announcement from Freeman's office. 

"The incident deeply impacted the Quinones family, the officers involved, and our community. The Richfield Police Department and the City of Richfield understand this has been a long, challenging process. The Richfield Police Department is committed to working with our community as we begin healing from this tragic event." 

To see videos of the incident, click here.

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