Use of Force in June Officer Involved Shooting Determined Justified

By KBJR News 1

September 5, 2013 Updated Sep 6, 2013 at 12:24 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The St. Louis County Attorney's Office has released their review of an officer involved shooting back in June that left a 26 year old Duluth man dead.

The Attorney's Officer found the amount of force used by Duluth Police Officers Matthew Hendrickson and Jacob Peterson was authorized by statute and justified by the circumstances.

Back on June 11th, authorities were called to a report of a single vehicle crash in the area of Orange Street and Arlington Avenue around two in the morning where the driver had fled.

Two officers responded to the area of the 300 block of East Locust Street that was associated with the registered owner of the vehicle. It's there, they say, that one officer allegedly encountered Zachary Premo with a handgun.

The officer radioed for assistance and says he shouted verbal commands in an attempt to get Premo to comply. The second officer responded to assist and both say they repeatedly yelled loud commands for about three minutes in an attempt to get Premo to comply.

Officers say they attempted to take the man into custody, however Premo allegedly reached for the area where the gun was located.

Investigators say officers Matthew Hendrickson and Jacob Peterson opened fire, shooting nine rounds, seven of them hitting Premo.

Chief Ramsay says it's a tragic situation, but the use of officer force was the right-course of action in this instance.

"This is a tragedy for Zach Premo's family, but it's also a tragedy for our officers involved and their families. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved, but ultimately I support the findings by the County Attorney's office, support the decision by the County Attorneys office and I support those officers that were involved in the incident," said Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay.

It was noted in the report that the semi-automatic handgun Premo had with him was not loaded, but he did have six-rounds of ammunition in his pocket.

Both officers Hendrickson and Peterson were placed on administrative leave following the incident and are now back on duty.

There have been three officer-involved shootings in Duluth since 2010, all the incidents have been determined justified.

Jeremy Brickley
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