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Carver County deputies who shot, killed Chanhassen teen won’t be charged

October 11, 2018

Two Carver County sheriffs deputies wont face criminal charges related to the July shooting of 16-year-old Archer Amorosi, a suicidal teen who died after a brief standoff outside his mothers Chanhassen home.

Deputies Travis Larson and Cpl. Jacob Hodge acted legally when they fired several rounds at Archer after he ran out the front door holding a hatchet and a handgun-style BB gun and refused commands to drop them, said Carver County Attorney Mark Metz.

Unfortunately, once Archer charged at Corporal Hodge in a full sprint with the hatchet, less than lethal force was no longer a plausible option, Metz said. Their actions are reasonable under law and there is no legal basis to charge either with a crime.

He publicly announced the decision after meeting with Amorosis parents at his office.

Although Carver County deputies did not activate body camera footage, South Minnetonka police body cameras recorded audio of the incident, including the final moments.

Drop it, drop it, stop, get your hands in the air, drop it, drop it! multiple deputies can be heard yelling throughout the audio, according to a report.

Shoot! Shoot! Amorosi can be heard in response.

An investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) found the July 13 incident began after Kara Amorosi called 911 to report that her son was suicidal and carrying around knives and a baseball bat.

According to the 911 transcript, Kara Amorosi reported that her son was being violent and destructive. Hes going to do something bad, she told the dispatcher, adding that Archer had locked her in the garage. Hes not well right now, she later told the dispatcher. Im worried for him.

Archers father, Don Amorosi, called 911 the day before the shooting to report that his son had become enraged after losing his car privileges. He also told the dispatcher that Archer had not taken his medication for depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Amorosi warned dispatchers that Archer was hostile toward law enforcement, but assured them that he didnt have access to any firearms on the property other than an airsoft pellet gun.

Hed first attempted to a call a mental health crisis center, but they said the situation did not meet their requirements for a medical transport and encouraged him to call police. Amorosi wanted responders to de-escalate the situation and worried that an active police response might have the opposite effect.

I fear that SWAT people are gonna go in and kick the door down and shoot him, he told the dispatcher.

Less than 24 hours later, a version of that scenario played out on Archers front lawn.

Don Amorosi is certain it could have turned out differently

If they had slowed down and brought [mental health] professionals, no one would be dead, he said in an interview.

Archer was a standout athlete and incoming junior at Minnetonka High School, where he played lacrosse and football.

On the one month anniversary of Archers death, Don Amorosi stood before the Chanhassen City Council demanding action from elected officials.

Our kids cannot be killed by those who are here to protect and serve, he said. We cannot second-guess, as parents, whether it is safe to call upon law enforcement under any circumstance.

Liz Sawyer 612-673-4648

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