Sheriff: Officers cleared in fatal Le Sueur County shooting
Four officers that fired their weapons in a shooting that killed a man in Le Sueur County will not face charges.
A release from the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office said County Attorney Brent Christian found the officers were justified to fire their weapons during the April 18 incident where Austin Dean Heights was killed.
According to law enforcement, authorities were called on April 18 after Heights had stolen items from a convenience store. Authorities say he was holding a rifle at the time.
Officers with the Mankato Police Department later found Heights on a raft where two long guns were visible.
The release says Heights ignored orders to paddle ashore. Authorities say Heights then fired at law enforcement and their boats.
When he came to shore, he fled with a gun into a wooded area with nearby homes.
"Given Heights criminal behavior, failure to respond to commands from Law Enforcement and the multiple rounds fired upon Law Enforcement, deadly force was necessary to protect other Law Enforcement Officers and civilians from great bodily harm or death," the release from the sheriff’s office said.