No charges again after county reopens case of deputy who fatally shot man

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office announced Oct. 10 that it is closing its latest review of the deputy who fatally shot a man in Vadnais Heights in 2017, again determining the shooting to be justified. 

The case was reopened in late September after the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension sent the county attorney’s office a piece of recorded audio evidence related to the shooting. The recording was not submitted by the BCA as part of its original investigation. 

The new recording was made by Darren Jahnke, the man shot and killed by a deputy, on his cell phone during the encounter with deputies, said the county. In it, the moment the shooting occurs is captured. 

The attorney’s office said in a release the recording “corroborates the deputies’ statements provided during the initial BCA investigation, and re-affirms the use of lethal force by Ramsey County Sheriff’s Deputy Andre Rongitsch.”

The killing, which occurred in the 3200 block of Fanum Road around 9:30 p.m. on April 16, 2017, stemmed from a confrontation between 47-year old Jahnke and deputies inside a recreational vehicle, according to a memo released by the county attorney’s office. 

Rongitsch shot Jahnke in the head after he allegedly took another deputy’s gun during a struggle. 

The BCA first presented its investigation to the county attorney’s office in January. County Attorney John Choi decided against charging Rongitsch with criminal wrongdoing and released a 23-page memo with his initial conclusion in March. 

 

—Solomon Gustavo

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