'I remember him 100 times a day': Father of teen fatally shot by deputies calls for change

Donald Amorosi embraces Archer's friend Luke Tollefson.
Don Amorosi embraced Minnetonka High School lacrosse player Luke Tollefson after Tollefson climbed into the stands after a game at Einer Anderson Stadium in Minnetonka, Minn., July 18, 2018.
Tom Baker for MPR News

The father of a Chanhassen teen shot and killed by Carver County deputies last month wants a broad investigation of the incident and is calling for changes in mental health care.

On July 13, deputies shot Archer Amorosi, 16, outside the Chanhassen home of his mother. Authorities said a woman called 911 saying her son was being violent and destructive inside their home.

State investigators said the teen carried what appeared to be a handgun, but turned out to be a BB gun.

On Monday evening, Don Amorosi asked the Chanhassen city council to investigate the incident.

"What I want them to do is to form a committee that looks at the environment, the ecosystem in which all this took place and to look back to the event and most importantly to look forward and ask, 'What could we do differently, where were the breakdowns, and what can we do to improve our systems, protocols, training to avoid this happening again,'" said Amorosi. "Details provided to the public seem convenient to the county and I think that the media might benefit from understanding the depths of concern in our community."

Amorosi said his son was getting mental health treatment, reluctantly seeing a psychologist and taking medication.

A photo of Archer Amorosi on the front of a funeral announcement.
A photo of Archer Amorosi as it appeared on the front of a funeral announcement. Amorosi was shot and killed by Carver County deputies on July 13, 2018.
Courtesy of Don Amorosi

"Was it sufficient? Did we know what he really needed? We searched but didn't have answers to that question," said Amorosi. "I think that the tools that our counties and communities have for helping people with mental health challenges are the wrong tools."

A vigil is scheduled Tuesday evening on what would have been Archer Amorosi's 17th birthday.

"I remember him 100 times a day. This isn't for me, it's for us," Amorosi said. "There are times that we need to slow down and grieve and celebrate and it's hard to do it in our busy times and it's better to do it collectively, so what I hope we will spend our time together doing is remembering him as the incredibly bright light that he was and quite honestly still is."

Amorosi said there needs to be a broad community discussion about mental health care for students, and better training for police who interact with people suffering from mental illness.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting.

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