Chanhassen teen shot by deputies mourned at lacrosse game

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Donald Amorosi, right, kneels with Minnetonka High School lacrosse players.
Donald Amorosi, right, kneels with Minnetonka High School lacrosse players as they surround a table with his son Archer's helmet and jerseys after a game at Einer Anderson Stadium in Minnetonka on Wednesday.
Tom Baker for MPR News

On a table set up next to the lacrosse field at Minnetonka High School were three things: Archer Amorosi's home and away lacrosse jerseys and his helmet.

As they took the field Wednesday night, the Minnetonka team rolled the ball to the midfield position where their teammate usually stood. All the players on the field and bench took a knee, some released white balloons and held a moment of silence.

Hours before, Westwood Community Church in Excelsior held a funeral service for the 16-year-old, who was shot July 13 by two Carver County deputies. Lacrosse teammate Luke Tollefson spoke at the funeral. After the lacrosse match, he remembered his close friend as a fierce competitor.

"When you play with him you just see the incredible passion and the drive that he has for the game, whether it be football or lacrosse, anything he does, he just had incredible passion," Tollefson said.

Luke Tollefson places his hand on the helmet of teammate Archer Amorosi.
Minnetonka High School lacrosse player Luke Tollefson places his gloved hand on the helmet of teammate Archer Amorosi.
Tom Baker for MPR News

Minnetonka principal Jeff Erickson said the last few days have been hard for people in the school district.

"It's heartbreaking. For students, it's difficult to put any words to it, to figure it out. I just make sure that they're finding support that they need, they're looking to care for each other," Erickson said. "It's hard to watch our students cope with it and to figure things out."

State investigators say Amorosi was holding what appeared to be a handgun and had been tased and pepper-sprayed before two deputies fired at him. A hatchet was found near his body. The handgun turned out to be a BB gun.

The Carver County Sheriff's Office released a transcript Wednesday of the 911 call his mother made. In it, she tells the dispatcher she worries he might hurt her or responding officers. She also says authorities had been called the day before, and according to the transcript, "he saw them, he needed a medical evaluation and they couldn't do anything."

Luke Tollefson, standing, comforts teammate Andrew DiFrancesco.
Luke Tollefson, standing, comforts teammate Andrew DiFrancesco, who is overcome with emotion as he kneels in front of Archer Amorosi's helmet and jerseys.
Tom Baker for MPR News

Tollefson said his friend struggled, but was a good person.

"Archer, he had his demons, more than the average person. But underneath his struggles, underneath his pain, he was an amazing person with a pure and genuine heart that was just unlike anyone else on this planet," Tollefson said.

As Wednesday night's game ended, Tollefson and others walked into the stands to hug members of Amorosi's family.