A Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy pleaded not guilty to second degree manslaughter at a Washington County District Court hearing on Wednesday, July 24.

A grand jury indicted Deputy Brian Krook, age 31 of Somerset Township, Wis., in connection with the April 2018 shooting death of a Lake Elmo man. Krook was released without bail.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a suicidal 23-year-old white male with a handgun after midnight April 12, 2018.

County deputies located the man, Benjamin Evans, near the intersection of Lake Elmo Ave. and 34th St. North.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) handled the case.

According to its preliminary investigation, Evans was holding a gun when deputies made contact with him. Officers made “repeated attempts” to get Evans to put down the gun. Krook later “discharged his firearm, striking Evans multiple times,” according to a 2018 BCA news release

Krook has been on standard administrative leave.

BCA investigators also recovered a handgun near Evans’ body as well as a law enforcement less lethal bean bag shotgun, which did not appear to have been fired, according to the press release.

Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry said in a statement July 24 that he was “deeply saddened” by the events.

“The loss of life in any call we respond to is never the desired outcome,” Starry said. “In this tragic case, we have a grieving family and grieving Sheriff’s Office.”

Evans’ parents Bill Evans and Kim Porter made a statement through their legal representation, Sandberg Law Firm, on July 23. Benjamin Evans was an emergency medical technician firefighter with a three-year-old daughter, according to the statement.

“It is incomprehensible that his life should be taken when he needed a public servant to save him,” the statement reads. “He was an extraordinary young man who loved life, his family, his fellow man and his country.”

The Ramsey County Attorneys Office is prosecuting the case. Krook’s omnibus hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30 at 1:30 p.m. at the Washington County District Court.

Contact Kim Schneider at kim.schneider@ecm-inc.com

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