Ricky Cobb II shooting: Hennepin Co. Attorney dismisses Trooper Londregan case

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced Sunday that Mary Moriarty has filed to dismiss the case against Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan in the killing of Ricky Cobb II. 

Moriarty filed a notice to dismiss charges against Londregan, saying defense lawyers presented many new pieces of evidence that made it "impossible" to prove that the shooting death of Cobb II was not an authorized use of force incident by Londregan. 

Prosecutors dropped the case after hearing new testimony from Londregan, where he claimed he saw Cobb II reach for his firearm shortly before Londregan fired gunshots that ultimately killed Cobb. Also, prosecutors say a Minnesota State Patrol trainer claimed he never instructed officers to hold back from shooting into a moving car while trying to get a suspect out of the car but said refraining from firing at a moving car is "best practice." 

After these testimonies, and working with a use of force expert, Moriarty and prosecutors in the case decided to dismiss the case. 

The attorney's office says before the announcement of the case being dropped, Moriarty met with Cobb II's family. 

"Ricky Cobb II should still be alive today," Moriarty said in a statement. "Today’s necessary decision does not change that fact, nor does it exonerate Mr. Londregan or the methods his supervisors used to train him in difficult situations. The question of whether we can prove a case at trial is different than clearing a person of any wrongdoing. There are so many points at which Mr. Londregan could have handled the situation differently, and if he had, Ricky Cobb might still be alive. But that is not the question before us as prosecutors; the only question is whether we can still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred given this new evidence. The answer to that question is no, and I would violate my ethical duties if I nonetheless continued with the case." 

"Open season on law enforcement needs to end – on the streets and in the courtroom. Trooper Londregan should have never been charged, and we are glad this political case is over. Enough is enough," Minnesota Police and Peace Officer Association (MPPOA) Executive Director Brain Peters said in a statement about the dismissal.

Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, Col. Christina Bogojevic, released the following statement on the charges being dropped against Londregan: 

"Our troopers work hard every day to keep Minnesota safe. They are in a line of work that is increasingly difficult and dangerous — but also more important than ever. The use of force that took Ricky Cobb II’s life unfolded in a fraction of a second. We acknowledge the loss felt by Mr. Cobb’s family. We also recognize the immense toll this incident has taken on our troopers and staff.

"Following the announcement that charges against Trooper Ryan Londregan were dropped, we move forward with the same passion and commitment to safety and deep appreciation for the public’s support.

"Trooper Londregan remains on paid leave while we conduct a critical incident review.

"Due to civil litigation, we cannot provide any additional comments." 

Londregan was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault in connection to the shooting that took place during a traffic stop in July 2023. 

Troopers pulled Cobb II over on Interstate 94 near 42nd Avenue around 1:50 a.m. on July 31, 2023. Authorities said Cobb II had a felony warrant out of Ramsey County, and when they attempted to detain him, he fled. Londregan then shot Cobb II, and he ultimately died. 

Dash and body camera videos show that  three troopers approached Cobb's car and asked him to get out of the car, and then they attempted to physically remove him after he refused to exit. Londregan then fired his gun, killing Cobb.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), said there was a gun in the back of Cobb II's car when he was fatally shot, but was never visibly in his possession. 

Londregan had about 1.5 years of law enforcement experience at the time of the shooting.