Washington County won't charge police officers in fatal Forest Lake shooting

Officers involved in the shooting of an armed Forest Lake man last November will not be charged, according to an announcement from the Washington County Attorney’s Office.

"While the death of an individual by deadly force is never to be taken lightly, there is no question that the actions of the officers in this matter were wholly justified," Criminal Division Head Nick Hydukovich said in a statement. "The need to take a human life deeply affects all of those involved, and these officers made every effort to avoid having to take that action."

On Nov. 28, 2021, officers from the Forest Lake Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call on the 8300 block of 224th Street North after reports than an individual, later identified as 47-year-old Bradley Erickson of Forest Lake, has threatened to shoot and kill family members and responding officers

When officers arrived, they saw Erickson walking with a rifle near the caller’s residence.

He then fled from the residence in his vehicle, and police were able to use a PIT maneuver to force his vehicle to stop.

Erickson then raised his rifle and pointed it directly at a deputy, and at which time two Forest Lake police officers and one Washington County sheriff’s deputy fired. He later died from his injuries.

After investigation, the Washington County Attorney’s Office and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) found that under the circumstances, the officers reasonably feared death or great bodily harm and were left with no means to deescalate the situation other than the use of deadly force.