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Deputy Won't Face Charges For Shooting Suspected Robber On ATV In Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO) -- Charges will not be filed against a northern Minnesota deputy who said he shot a suspected robber who was dragging him from an ATV last fall.

The St. Louis County Attorney's Office says Deputy Jason Kuhnly shot Jesse Ferrari in Duluth in the early morning hours of Sept. 28. The criminal complaint states that another deputy tried to pull Ferrari over due to several incidents involving ATVs being used in late-night robberies in the area. Ferrari sped off with another man on board and fled on an ATV trail.

Deputy Kuhnly and a K-9 soon arrived to help the deputy track the two suspects on the trail. The deputies separated at one point, and Kuhnly eventually spotted an ATV and told the driver to stop. The ATV fled, but soon came back down the trail toward Kuhnly.

Kuhnly told investigators that as the ATV approached him, he told the driver, Ferrari, to stop, then grabbed a handlebar to try to push the vehicle's kill switch. Kuhnly said Ferrari then "pinned" him to the vehicle by pressing the throttle to speed off, and began to drag him alongside.

Kuhnly says he feared for his safety and warned Ferrari that he would shoot if he didn't stop. He soon fired in Ferrari's direction, striking him in the side. The bullet exited his body and got stuck in the vehicle's rear compartment. Ferrari then fell off the ATV.

Ferrari told investigators that he tried to swerve around Kuhnly, but the deputy jump on the vehicle and held down the throttle himself, making Ferrari unable to stop. He also says Kuhnly was never dragged.

After an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the St. Louis County Attorney's Office decided not to charge Kuhnly, saying that despite the conflicting accounts, it would be rational for any law enforcement member in Kuhnly's position to fear for their safety, and there wasn't enough evidence to suggest his decision to discharge his service weapon was "unreasonable."

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