RICHFIELD, Minn. — No charges will be filed against the five officers who fired at Brian Quiñones-Rosario in September, killing him with a knife in his hand.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the decision on Monday, saying he made it after "careful and extensive review of the evidence."
The shooting happened after 30-year-old Quiñones led police on a chase on the night of Sept. 7, 2019, according to the county attorney's office. The chase started in Edina shortly after 10 p.m., and ended in Richfield. It was captured on Facebook live by Quiñones.
Edina Police Officer Nicholas Pedersen was following Quiñones and waited for backup to arrive before attempting a stop. He then tried a PIT maneuver, which didn't work, but Quiñones slammed on his brakes, according to Freeman.
When Pedersen got out of his car with gun drawn, Quiñones came up behind him "aggressively pointing a knife in his direction," according to the county attorney's release.
The entire ordeal transpired quickly and much of it was captured on video by Edina and Richfield Police squad dash cameras. Pedersen can be heard saying "drop the knife" repeatedly.
The next officer to arrive on scene, Richfield Officer Dylan Schultz, ran up to them and attempted to use a Taser on Quiñones, according to the county attorney. Quiñones then "unexpectedly bolted" at Pederson, according to the release, and Pederson fired three shots at Quiñones.
By then, three more officers arrived and according to the county, Quiñones pointed his blade at Schultz and ran at him, screaming "kill me."
Richfield Police Officer Macabe Stariha fired five shots at Quiñones. The county attorney says Quiñones then made a "slashing gesture" with the knife and lunged at Richfield Police Officer Joseph Carroll, who also shot once. Stariha fired three additional shots.
Another officer from Edina, Benjamin Wenande, had arrived last and when Quiñones moved closer to him with the knife in hand, he fired a single shot.
Freeman said after being shot multiple times, Quiñones fell to the ground. Officers administered first aid, but Quiñones was pronounced dead at the scene.
At a candle light vigil for Quiñones after the shooting, his brother Josh told KARE 11 that Brian suffered from mental illness.
"He was just suffering from so much depression and anxiety. Schizophrenic. He was having so much problems," Josh Quiñones said.
When Freeman announced the decision not to charge the officers, he said, "First I want to acknowledge what a tragic event this was. My condolences go out to Mr. Quiñones' friends and family."
Freeman said the video evidence shows that Quiñones threatened officers with a knife and refused police requests to stand down.
“Under Minnesota law, it is clear that Officers Pedersen, Schultz, Stariha, Carroll, and Wenande’s use of deadly force was necessary, proportional, and objectively reasonable in the face of the apparent threat of death or great bodily harm, and no criminal charges are warranted," Freeman said.
Richfield Police issued a statement, saying:
"The incident deeply impacted the Quiñones family, the officers involved, and our community. The Richfield Police Department and the City of Richfield understand this has been a long, challenging process. The Richfield Police Department is committed to working with our community as we begin healing from this tragic event."
The City of Edina issued a similar statement, and City Manager Scott Neal said in the release:
“Investigations of officer-involved shootings are critically important; the results affect not only the involved officers, but also the department and the community. We appreciate the work of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.”