Prosecutor: Deputies justified in killing Chanhassen teen

Published 8:40 am Friday, October 12, 2018

By MPR News Staff

MPR News/90.1 FM

Two Carver County deputies will not face charges for using deadly force against 16-year-old Archer Amorosi as they confronted him outside his mother’s home July 13 in Chanhassen, the county attorney said Thursday.

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Deputies shot and killed the Minnetonka High School student after his mother called 911 to report that her son was suicidal and acting violent and destructive.

A preliminary inquiry by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators found the deputies shot Amorosi after he came out of the house carrying what the BCA said was a small hatchet and a BB gun that resembled a handgun.

The agency noted that the deputies had tried to subdue Amorosi with a stun gun and pepper spray before shooting him.

Given the circumstances and the law, Deputy Travis Larson and Cpl. Jake Hodge were justified in shooting Amorosi, Carver County Attorney Mark Metz concluded in a memo made public Thursday.

According to the memo, Amorosi repeatedly threatened the deputies during the confrontation. At one point, Larson said Amorosi charged at Hodge with the gun and hatchet yelling, “I’m gonna kill you.”

Hodge said Amorosi, holding the gun and hatchet, “gave out a war scream” as he charged the deputy, who shot Amorosi as he approached.

The county attorney’s memo said Amorosi was about 30 feet from Hodge when he began charging toward him and that the teen collapsed about 10 feet away from the deputy.

Metz said the decision not to charge was made after reviewing the evidence, including autopsy reports and “the single bodycam” video from the incident. The office also hired an independent use-of-force expert to review the matter.

Don Amorosi, Archer’s father, has called for a broad community discussion about mental health care for students and better training for police who interact with people suffering from mental illness.

He said his son had been receiving mental health treatment, seeing a psychologist and taking medication.