County Attorney declines to charge officer involved in Stillwater shooting death

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The Washington County Attorney declined to charge a Stillwater Police Officer involved in a deadly November shooting.

County Attorney Pete Orput announced the decision in a memo to the Minnesota BCA Thursday, saying the officer was justified in using deadly force against Keaton Larson on Nov. 21, 2018.

It was about 1 a.m. on Nov. 21 when officers from Stillwater, Bayport and Oak Park Heights responded to a call involving the suicidal man on 4th Street South in Stillwater. The man was apparently armed with a knife.

There, Larson was shot by Hunter Julien, a 5-year veteran of the Stillwater Police. Julien was put on standard administrative leave following the incident. Larson later died at the hospital.

“The WCAO found that under the totality of the circumstances the officer reasonably feared death or great bodily harm would result if he did not use deadly force,” said the Attorney’s Office in a release.

The release went on to say that the officer fired on Larson in self-defense.

“While the death of an individual by deadly force is never to be taken lightly, there is no question that the actions of the Stillwater Police officer in this matter were wholly justified. We also cannot forget that each of the officers involved in this incident have been deeply affected by the need to take a human life,” said the County Attorney.