On Nov. 22, Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Steve Sutton-Brown was involved in an officer-involved shooting in Red Wing.
Fernando Javier Carbajal had attacked Sutton-Brown, at which time Sutton-Brown fired three rounds, all striking Carbajal.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension completed an independent investigation of the shooting, according to a release from Goodhue County Sheriff Marty Kelly.
The Goodhue County Attorney’s Office received the completed BCA investigation and asked the Stearns County Attorney’s Office to review the investigation.
The Stearns County Attorney’s Office reviewed the information and concluded that the use of deadly force by Sutton-Brown was justified.
Specifically, the Stearns County Attorney found that criminal charges were not supported in this case because Minnesota law permits officers to use deadly force when necessary to protect the officer from apparent death or great bodily harm.
The Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office completed an internal review and cleared Sutton-Brown to return to full duty.
Carbajal was treated and released from the hospital a day after the shooting.
In his statement, Kelly said the his office has no other comments at this time, because the criminal case is ongoing against Carbajal.
According to police reports at the time, Sutton-Brown did not have a Taser or other non-lethal options when he shot a Red Wing man who attacked him on Nov. 22.
Fernando Javier Carbajal, 24, faces felony and misdemeanor charges in the attack.
In November, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension stated Sutton-Brown fired his department handgun during the incident. He has been a law enforcement officer for 19½ years.
He was on standard administrative leave with pay, pending being cleared in the incident.
According to a report from the bureau, Carbajal was shot in the altercation.
The report stated just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22, witnesses called 911 to report a vehicle crashed into a telephone pole near Bay Point Park.
The driver left the vehicle and was walking away from the crash near Bay Point Park in Red Wing along Levee Road. Sutton-Brown was taking part in training nearby and arrived on the scene first. He was not wearing his standard uniform but had on a sweatshirt that identified him as a member of the sheriff’s office.
His unmarked car had its emergency lights turned on.
Witnesses say tCarbajal charged the deputy as he approached and attacked the officer. Because Sutton-Brown had come from training, he did not have his normal array of tools, including less-lethal options like aerosol, a baton or a Taser.
At one point during the altercation Sutton-Brown fell and injured his foot. He discharged his firearm three times. Carbajal, who was described as being much larger than the officer, was unarmed.
Sutton-Brown sustained a broken foot as a result of the assault.
The complaint states that Sutton-Brown radioed that the suspect was suicidal.
“The officer’s voice was clearly in distress while providing radio updates,” the complaint states. “A short time later Goodhue County Sheriff’s Dispatch advised ‘shots fired!’”
Assistant Red Wing Police Chief Travis Bray was one of the first officers on the scene. He recognized Carbajal, according to the complaint.
The suspect, according to the complaint, told Bray, “I am sorry, Bray. I didn’t want you to see me this way.”
Carbajal told Bray he was going 90 mph when he drove into a pole. The suspect said he was fine and walked away from the crash uninjured.
“I did some real bad stuff, stuff that my family would not be proud of,” Bray reported Carbajal told him. “I really messed up.”
The other witness said the suspect was “approximately 12 inches taller” than the officer. In the complaint, Carbajal is listed as 6 feet tall and 435 pounds on his Minnesota driver’s license.
“She added that there was a physical altercation between the two men and that she believed that the larger male (Carbajal) grabbed the officer a couple times,” the complaint stated. “She described them as standing very close to one another.”
She told the investigating officer, “That guy was going to get that police officer. He was after him at that point. It was scary. He seemed so much bigger.”
The officer reportedly fired “two or three shots” from his hand gun.
“The male initially fell to the ground after one of the shots but got back up and continued to chase the officer,” the complaint states. The officer fired another shot.
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