No charges against deputy in fatal shooting after reopened investigation

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office has decided for the second time that charges are not justified against a sheriff's deputy for the shooting death of a 47-year-old man in Vadnais Heights last year.

Darren Jahnke was shot and killed during a confrontation with officers in an RV on April 16, 2017. Officers said Jahnke refused to identify himself to officers, was hit with a stun gun, and then was shot after one officer said he ripped her gun from her belt during a scuffle. He was declared dead after being taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office had previously announced in March that they wouldn't charge Deputy Andre Rongitsch in Jahnke's death. But in September, Ramsey County employees discovered an audio recording of the fatal confrontation Jahnke made on his cellphone.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension had not included the audio in evidence they turned over to the attorney's office after the agency finished its investigation in January. The county attorney's office announced last month that it was re-examining the investigation.

Ramsey County prosecutors said in a memo to County Attorney John Choi dated last week that the audio recording didn't contradict any of the previous evidence they'd reviewed in the case. The attorneys wrote that the use of deadly force was "necessary and reasonable under the circumstances." They recommended no charges against any of the deputies involved in the confrontation or shooting.

In an email this week released by the county attorney's office, Choi said he'd asked the BCA to improve how investigations into police shootings are handled by updating the organization of files and ensuring electronic data is considered.

"We recognize that officer-involved shooting investigations require managing lots of information and our expectations, which reflect the public's needs, have placed additional stress on the investigators and prosecutors who handle these cases," Choi wrote in the email, in which BCA Superintendent Drew Evans was copied.

A spokesperson for the BCA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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