No charges against officer who shot man in mental health crisis

The Washington County attorney will not press charges against the officer who shot a man having a mental health crisis in Stillwater last year.

Stillwater police officer, Hunter Julien, was one of four from multiple jurisdictions who arrived at the home last November after a man called 911 to report that his brother, Keaton Larson, was threatening to hurt himself. Larson had previously attempted suicide.

Police say when the officers — two from Stillwater, one from Bayport, and one from Oak Park Heights — arrived, Larson came out of the house armed with a knife. Three of the officers used their Tasers and when they proved ineffective, Julien shot his gun, according to police. Larson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The county attorney's office found Julien "reasonably feared death or great bodily harm would result if he did not use deadly force," according to a news release.

"While the death of an individual by deadly force is never to be taken lightly, there is no question that the actions of the Stillwater police officer in this matter were wholly justified," Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in the release. "We also cannot forget that each of the officers involved in this incident have been deeply affected by the need to take a human life."

Larson's mother, Tessa Andrews, declined to comment publicly, asking for privacy to grieve her son.

"This is just another one of those cases that have sadly become almost typical," Orput said in an interview, "where a family member is having mental health crisis ... and ends up acting out, leaving cops no alternative but to take someone's life."

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