Family of man killed by police during mental health crisis say he should still be alive

The family of a man killed by Wright County deputies early Sunday morning say the incident never should have ended with his death.

Family say 21-year-old Jordyn Hansen was having a mental health episode when he was shot and killed, and deputies were likely ill-equipped to respond to a person in psychological crisis.

Police said they were called to the home in Otsego on reports of a man threatening to harm himself and others. When they arrived, they were able to convince him to go to the hospital for a mental health evaluation but as they waited for the ambulance to arrive, he went to the kitchen and obtained a knife. 

The Wright County Sheriff’s Office said Hansen threatened deputies with the knife. After attempts to use their Tasers were unsuccessful, authorities said the deputies shot the man. He died at the hospital.

"My brother was unarmed when police arrived. He was upstairs unarmed. How did police let him get a knife?... it just doesn’t make sense," said Justine Hansen. "This didn’t have to happen. This could have been prevented. There were many opportunities for it to be prevented."

Hansen says her brother has struggled with his mental health for years, but that he was doing well in recent months. After leaving treatment this past spring, he went to live with his uncle in Otsego in search of a fresh start.

"Mental health…it’s a process. And he was in the process," she said. "He was fine for two months - he was happy, he had a job, he had a good life, then that night randomly everything changed."

Hansen said while they’ve had positive interactions with police in the past, they don’t believe law enforcement officers are properly trained to respond to individuals living with mental illness.

"I don’t think the police officers are trained properly on mental health calls. I think we need more help in those types of situations," she said. 

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension did not respond to requests for comment on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

The deputies involved were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure following an officer involved shooting.