Minnesota prosecutor: Deputies ‘justified’ in Otsego killing

OTSEGO, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota prosecutor said Monday that sheriff’s deputies were “completely justified” when they fatally shot a man in Otsego who they said had threatened them with a knife.

RELATED: Wright County deputies shot and kill man that threatened them with knife

Wright County Attorney Brian Lutes said the deputies will not face criminal charges in the August shooting of Jordyn Hansen.

According to Lutes’ memo, Hansen, 21, had been living with his aunt and uncle, who said he had a history of mental health issues. Early on Aug. 7, his aunt called police after Hansen’s sister said he was going to Faribault to kill people. His aunt also asked for an ambulance.

Hansen tried jumping out of an upstairs bedroom window before authorities arrived, but his uncle stopped him. When deputies arrived, Hansen grabbed a steak knife with a 6-inch blade from the kitchen and ran into the garage. Shortly after that, his uncle heard gunfire.

Lutes said the use of deadly force by Deputy Leland Wilkinson and Sgt. Jeffrey McMackins was justified, saying Hansen disobeyed every order and “intentionally initiated deadly force confrontations” by charging at them while brandishing a knife in a threatening manner. He added that use of a stun gun to subdue Hansen “had no effect.”

The day after the shooting, Hansen’s aunt Sara Wroblewski sent the Star Tribune a written account of what happened, saying law enforcement missed opportunities to detain Hansen. Wroblewski did not immediately respond to the Star Tribune’s request for comment on Lutes’ announcement.

Other county attorneys in the Twin Cities area have sent cases involving the fatal use of force by police to the Attorney General’s Office or their counterparts to avoid a conflict of interest.

Lutes said he kept the case because he he felt it was his responsibility to make the determination, and because a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent had indicated it was straightforward.

Court records in Rice County confirmed Hansen’s history of mental health challenges, including suicide attempts, hearing voices and heavy alcohol and drug use. Courts had ordered him twice to be civilly committed for treatment of social anxiety disorder and depression. One of those orders was still active when he was killed.