Crime, Law and Justice

Richfield, Edina officers not charged in shooting death of Brian Quinones

Dashcam video shows a man approaching an officer with a knife.
A screenshot taken from the dashcam video of Edina police officer Nicholas Pedersen seconds before Brian Quinones was shot and killed by Edina and Richfield police officers on Sept. 7, 2019.
Courtesy of Hennepin County Attorney's Office

Five police officers from Richfield and Edina will not face any criminal charges in the shooting death of Brian Quinones.

In a statement on Monday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman wrote that the officers were justified in their use of deadly force when they killed the 30-year-old.

The shooting occurred on the evening of Sept. 7, 2019, at an intersection in Richfield. Edina officer Nicholas Pedersen saw a car moving erratically on the road, and he attempted to pull Quinones over. None of the officers were wearing body cameras. But parts of the incident were captured by cameras mounted on the squads’ dashboards.

One video shows Quinones advancing toward Pedersen with a pointed object in his hand as the officer shouts at him to drop his knife. In another video, Quinones appears to run at an officer before several officers fire between 10 and 11 shots.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner found Quinones died after being shot seven times. Toxicology tests showed he “was not under drug or alcohol influence during the incident,” according to a statement from the county attorney’s office.

Officers Pedersen and Benjamin Wenande of the Edina Police Department and officers Joseph Carroll and Macabe Stariha from the Richfield Police Department fired their weapons at Quinones. Richfield officer Dylan Schultz tried unsuccessfully to subdue Quinones with a Taser.

Members of the Quinones family and community members have questioned why police weren't able to subdue him with a less-than-lethal weapon. Family members feared Quinones, a husband and the father of a 12-year-old, had been feeling suicidal.

Quinones’ brother Joshua posted an angry response to Freeman’s decision on his Facebook page.

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 in Richfield on Sept. 9, 2019.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News

“How in the f--- are you gon' tell me that ALL 5 OFFICERS are innocent after THEY MURDERED MY BROTHER IN SUCH A VIOLENT WAY…” he wrote and added that his brother’s death was unnecessary.

In a statement the Richfield Police Department said it’s committed to helping to heal the community. “The incident deeply impacted the Quinones family, the officers involved, and our community,” reads the statement.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, which handled the investigation, had refused family and activists’ requests to release the video before now.

Correction (Feb. 11, 2020): Nicholas Pedersen’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.