Use of deadly force by investigator justified in Red Wing shooting

(ABC 6 News) – An investigation into the November 2022 shooting involving a Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office Investigator in Red Wing has been deemed justified.

On November 22nd, 2022 Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Steve Sutton-Brown was involved in an officer-involved shooting in Red Wing. Fernando Javier Carbajal had assaulted Investigator Steve Sutton-Brown, at which time Investigator Sutton-Brown fired three rounds, all striking Fernando Carbajal.

According to Hubbard affiliate KSTP, upon arriving, the investigator saw the driver had gotten out of the SUV and was walking away. He requested backup over the radio because the driver appeared to be “suicidal.” The investigator “was clearly in distress” while giving updates, the complaint states. The deputy would later warn of “shots fired.”

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension completed an independent investigation of the shooting.  The Goodhue County Attorney’s Office received the completed BCA investigation and asked the Stearns County Attorney’s Office to review the investigation.   

The Stearns County Attorney’s Office reviewed the information and concluded that the use of deadly force by Investigator Steve Sutton-Brown was justified.  Specifically, the Stearns County Attorney found that criminal charges were not supported in this case because Minnesota law permits officers to use deadly force when necessary to protect the officer from apparent death or great bodily harm. 

The Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office completed an internal review and cleared Investigator Sutton-Brown to return to full duty. 

Fernando Javier Carbajal was treated and released from the hospital a day after the shooting. 

The Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office has no other comments at this time, as the criminal case is ongoing against Fernando Carbajal.