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After investigation by BCA, no charges filed against Olivia police officer for July shooting death

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During the early morning hours of July 4, 2021, an officer-involved shooting occurred in Olivia. Officer Aaron Clouse, of the Olivia Police Department, shot and killed Ricardo Torres, Jr. in an alley behind 821 Lincoln Ave. in Olivia.

Because of a perceived conflict of interest, the Renville County Attorney’s Office asked the Blue Earth County Attorney to review the case for criminal charges. Following his review, Blue Earth County Attorney Patrick McDermott determined no criminal charges will be filed in the matter.

County Attorney McDermott’s letter explaining his decision stated, in part, “On July 4, 2021, at approximately 2:21 a.m., Olivia Police Officer Aaron Clouse was in the alley and exterior curtilage of 821 Lincoln Avenue, in Olivia, mounting a trail camera when he aired on the radio “shots fired” and requested assistance….

“Renville County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Fiebelkorn was first on scene and, upon his arrival, observed Ricardo Torres, Jr., date of birth April 6, 1989, laying on the ground with a sawed-off shotgun in his hands. Officer Clouse was pointing his service weapon at Torres, Jr. Officer Clouse told Sgt. Fiebelkorn that Torres, Jr. had pointed the shotgun at Officer Clouse and Officer Clouse shot at Torres, Jr. with his service weapon….

“Sgt. Fiebelkorn secured the shotgun from Torres, Jr. and assisted with making sure the scene was secure. Medical aid was provided to Torres, Jr. on the scene until Torres, Jr. was transported to a hospital by ambulance at 2:44 a.m. Torres, Jr. was pronounced dead at the hospital….

“On July 4, 2021, at approximately 3:44 a.m., Senior Special Agent Samuel McGinnis was informed the Renville County Sheriff had requested the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] to investigate the shooting on behalf of the Olivia Police Department. SSA McGinnis learned additional special agents and a [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] crime scene team were also responding to the scene of the incident.”

In the end, Blue Earth County Attorney Patrick McDermott statement concludes, in part, “Given the facts and circumstances of this case, Officer Clouse was acting within his authority as a police officer in the early morning hours of July 4, 2021. Officer Clouse was wearing a readily identifiable police uniform and he announced his presence as a police officer in 1 Torres, Jr. As Officer Clouse walked toward Torres, Jr., Officer Clouse saw Torres, Jr. carrying a long barreled weapon while knowing Torres, Jr. is legally prohibited from possessing firearms. Officer Clouse ordered Torres, Jr. to drop the gun as Officer Clouse began reaching for his service weapon. Torres, Jr. then initiated a deadly force confrontation with Officer Clouse by raising the gun and pointing it at Officer Clouse from a close distance while stating, “You drop the gun.” This resulted in Officer Clouse using deadly force in response….

“The reaction of Officer Clouse in this case was reasonable and justified. His conduct was in response to an apparent threat of death or great bodily harm. Officer Clouse also articulated with specificity a threat of death or great bodily harm that was reasonably likely to occur unless addressed by him without unreasonable delay. The investigative materials reviewed shows that, given the facts and circumstances, Officer Clouse acted within the law in his use of deadly force under standards set forth by Minnesota Statute 609.066, both pre-March 1, 2021, and post-March 1, 2021. Therefore, no criminal charges should be sought in this matter.”


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