Father says son may have sought deadly police confrontation

A photograph of Brian Quinones (left) and his brother Joshua.
A photograph of Brian Quinones (left) and his brother Joshua is affixed to a candle at a memorial along 77th Street East in Richfield on Sept. 9, 2019. Brian Quinones was fatally shot by police at that location Sept. 7.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News

Court documents filed in connection with a fatal Richfield police shooting indicate that the family of the man killed believe he was feeling despondent and may have sought a fatal confrontation.

Christofer Nybeck, an investigator with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, filed a sworn search warrant affidavit looking for information from Facebook on the Sept. 7 shooting of Brian Quinones.

Quinones, 30, had live-streamed the incident on Facebook from a phone mounted on his car dashboard as police followed and eventually shot and killed him.

The search warrant application, approved by a Hennepin County district judge, says William Santiago, a 55-year-old inmate serving a burglary sentence at Stillwater state prison, told Department of Corrections officials and Hennepin County investigators that Brian Quinones was his son and had been struggling personally in recent weeks.

“Mr. Santiago stated that Quinones-Rosario went to multiple family members prior to his death and ‘thanked’ each of them…,” the warrant affidavit says. “Mr. Santiago stated ‘yes’ to MN DOC staff members when they asked Mr. Santiago if Quinones-Rosario’s actions that night were for the purpose of ‘suicide by cop.’”

It wasn’t clear from the affidavit how Mr. Santiago had learned of his son’s actions from Stillwater.

The warrant says Santiago later spoke to Nybeck in person. In the interview, Santiago said that Quinones had told family members that he didn’t have any friends and that his relationship with 12-year-old son had been strained.

The search warrant specifically asks for access to Quinones’ private Facebook messages, saying they may have clues to Quinones intentions before the shooting, and that they may reflect his “state of mind” before the encounter with Edina and Richfield police.

“Records are forthcoming,” says a receipt attached to the warrant.

Two Edina police officers and three Richfield police officers were identified as the police involved in the incident. None were wearing body cameras. The five were all placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting.

Correction (Oct. 25, 2019): An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the date the shooting happened. The story has been corrected and updated.

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