Deputy pleads not guilty to manslaughter for 2018 fatal Lake Elmo shooting

A Washington County Sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty to a manslaughter for fatally shooting a 23-year-old in Lake Elmo last year, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Deputy Brian Krook, a 31-year-old, nine-year veteran with the sheriff’s office, faces a single charge of second-degree manslaughter.

The indictment was unsealed during Krook’s July 24 arraignment at the Washington County Courthouse, Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry said. 

Just after midnight on April 12, 2018, Krook and other deputies responded to a call about a man making suicidal comments near the intersection of Lake Elmo Avenue and 34th Street North. 

Deputies attempted to de-escalate the situation before shooting bean bag rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun at Benjamin Evans, who was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

“I am deeply saddened by the events of April 12, 2018. The loss of life in any call we respond to is never the desired outcome,” Starry said in a July 24 Facebook post.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office said it’s prosecuting the case because Washington County has a conflict of interest with respect to it. Ramsey County officials say they have been working with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension since the day of the shooting, and they formally received the case for review in January.

The indictment was finalized on July 19 and states Krook created an unreasonable risk via culpable negligence. It also alleges he “consciously took the chance of causing death or great bodily harm to another.”

Starry said it’s important for the public to keep the families of Evans and Krook in their thoughts as the process unfolds.

Krook fulfilled his conditional release by turning over his passport to his attorney, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office said.

Krook’s omnibus hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30.


—Amy Felegy

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