Family of suicidal man killed by police files federal suit

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The family of a man who was killed by a Minnesota deputy as he knelt in a residential Twin Cities-area street with a gun to his own head has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Krook was acquitted in March of second-degree manslaughter in the 2018 death of 23-year-old Benjamin Evans, of Lake Elmo, who was shot after a 40-minute standoff with authorities.

The federal complaint filed Monday names Krook and other members of the sheriff’s office, the Star Tribune reported. William Evans, Benjamin’s father who is acting as trustee for the family, asks for a jury to determine compensatory and punitive damages for an act he calls “willful, reckless and intentional … assault, battery, unauthorized use of force, negligence and wrongful death.”

An attorney for the defendants, Joe Flynn, said Tuesday that Evans’ gun did “point in the direction” of the deputies during the encounter. Flynn said Evans could have moved the gun away from his head and fired upon the officers before they could respond.

Evans had moved from St. Louis to Minnesota to be with his girlfriend, but she had recently broken up with him and he had lost his job. On the night of April 11, 2018, he put on his firefighter dress uniform, wrote two suicide notes, then left his house with his gun, according to witness testimony.

Evans was ultimately shot twice in the chest, once in the side, and once in the leg.

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