MN Police Officer Cleared of Criminal Charges For Fatal Shooting
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — A police officer in the western Minnesota town of Olivia won't face criminal charges over a fatal shooting in July.
Blue Earth County Attorney Patrick McDermott said in a letter dated Thursday that Officer Aaron Clouse acted within the law when he killed Ricardo Torres Jr. just after 2 a.m. on July 4, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
According to an investigative summary in the prosecutor's letter, Clouse was putting up a trail camera in an alley due to reports of vandalism and a vehicle theft in the vicinity when he radioed that shots had been fired.
A Renville County sheriff’s sergeant responded and saw Torres lying on the ground with a sawed-off shotgun in his hands while Clouse was pointing his gun at Torres. Torres had been shot three times.
Clouse said in a written report that he'd seen Torres carrying a gun and told him to drop it. Torres allegedly responded that Clouse should drop his, and pointed a shotgun at the officer, who then shot Torres.
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators reported that a woman interviewed after the shooting said Torres had been talking in recent days about “finding” Clouse after the officer had previously arrested him. The witness also alleged she saw Torres with a shotgun on the night of the shooting, and she had feared Torres would harm her.
Family and friends described Torres as a man who would help anyone and questioned initial law enforcement accounts of what happened. Torres was the father of a baby girl.