Ramsey Co. deputy cleared for killing man in RV confrontation

Updated March 16, 9:50 a.m.| Posted March 15, 3:35 p.m.

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office says a sheriff's deputy was justified in shooting and killing a man in a confrontation in an RV in Vadnais Heights.

The investigation into the April shooting found that deputies on patrol noticed the RV near U.S. Highway 61 and Interstate 694 following a report of a sexual assault nearby involving a similar vehicle. They stopped to investigate and found 47-year-old Darren Jahnke inside.

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Jahnke initially refused to identify himself, then threatened to throw a bucket of fecal matter on the officers, according to the investigation. One of the deputies used a stun gun on Jahnke.

A struggle ensued and Jahnke apparently tore loose a holstered gun from one deputy's duty belt.

The deputy warned other officers she'd lost her weapon and told them to shoot Jahnke. Another deputy shot him in the head.

There was no video of the confrontation in the RV, but prosecutors said the deputies were reasonably investigating a crime and were justified in shooting and killing Jahnke after the deputy lost her gun in the struggle.

Jahnke's family has criticized the investigation and in February demanded that the deputies who confronted and killed Jahnke be held accountable for his death.

The family on Thursday described the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigative report on the shooting as filled with "lies and unsupported statements."

"The system we trusted to assist us has failed us," Jenny Vance, Darren's sister, said in a statement. "However, Darren is undergoing an independent autopsy and we feel certain that it will provide a more accurate explanation and documentation of the deputies' wrongful killing of my brother."