No Charges in Use of Deadly Force by Duluth Officers

Posted at: 09/05/2013 10:09 AM | Updated at: 09/05/2013 10:12 PM
By: Jon Ellis & Maarja Anderson

The St. Louis County Attorney's Office has decided not to file charges after a shooting involving a Duluth police officer in June, the Duluth Police Department announced today.

Chief Gordon Ramsay said in a press conference prosecutors found the use of force against Zach Premo was authorized by statute and justified by the circumstances.  The incident happened in the early-morning hours of June 11 after police say Premo, 26, crashed his car on Orange Street near Arlington Avenue.

Premo allegedly fled to East Locust Street, where he was located by officers Matthew Hendrickson and Jacob Peterson.  A K-9 was first released on Premo. Ramsay said the officers thought the dog would be killed to save their lives.

After a standoff lasting more than three minutes, Premo allegedly reached into an area where a gun was located and was shot.

"They feared for their life," said Ramsay. "This guy has a gun and he's not listening to them repeatedly. Unless you've ever had a gun pointed at you...it's hard to grasp that feeling." 

Both officers were placed on paid administrative leave, but have since returned to work.

The department released 911 and radio recordings in an effort to be transparent, said Ramsay. In the radio recordings the two officers can be heard calling for backup.

Premo had only two minor crimes on his record and friends told Eyewitness News they were shocked by what happened because it seemed so out of character.

(Copyright 2013 WDIO-TV, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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