Ramsey County prosecutors: St. Paul officer legally justified in shooting man in exchange of gunfire

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A St. Paul police officer who fatally shot a man, after the man shot and wounded him, was legally justified, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Officer Michael Tschida, who was shot in the leg, will not be charged in the shooting of Brandon D. Keys, 24.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated the December shooting in the Merriam Park neighborhood and forwarded the case to the Ramsey County attorney’s office for review. The county attorney’s office released a 38-page memo Thursday, explaining why prosecutors determined Tschida’s use of deadly force was justified under Minnesota law.

The incident began when a woman called 911 and reported that Keys, who was the father of her child was chasing her in another vehicle. She reported he had a current order for protection against him and that he had a gun. Body-worn and dash cameras released by police showed Tschida exited his squad at Cretin and Marshall avenues at 2:17 p.m. Dec. 7, after which there was an exchange of gunfire between him and Keys.

“I’m sure this incident has deeply impacted all of those involved, including our community,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi wrote in a message about reviewing prosecutors’ work and agreeing with their decision. “The truth is that all too often police officers are called to dangerous situations having to place their lives on the line to protect those who call upon them and our community. We should appreciate this act of public service while also recognizing the deep loss that is felt by the family and friends of Mr. Keys.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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