No charges in February Officer-Involved Shooting in Duluth

No charges will be filed in the Officer-Involved shooting death of Zachary James Shogren, according to the St. Louis County Attorney.

The 34-year-old Shogren died from multiple gunshot wounds in Duluth on February 24. According to a report released on Monday, August 14, the Cook County Attorney’s Office found no basis for criminal charges. The incident involved undercover law enforcement officers from the Duluth Police Department and assigned to the Lake Superior Violent Offender Task Force.

According to the report, the Cook County Attorney’s Office concluded that there was no basis for criminal charges against the Officer who fired the fatal shots, “because the evidence is sufficient to establish that an objectively reasonable officer in their position would believe there was a threat of death or great bodily harm to another law enforcement officer.”

According to the report, Shogren made threats against a family member on February 13, and police determined there was probable cause for an arrest. Zachary Shogren was not located.

RELATED STORY: BCA identifies man who died after officer-involved shooting in Duluth

Then around February 24, the Task Force received word that additional threats were made by Shogren and according to the report, authorities planned to arrest him outside of his home.

The report states that when police officers identified themselves to Shogren and asked him to put his hands up, Shogren reached into his pocket and removed a “tactical knife with a black handle and a 4-5 inch blade.” Shogren ignored commands by officers to drop the knife.

Officers told Shogren that they were going to use a TASER on him if he did not drop the knife. The report says Shogren advanced toward the Officer, who deployed his TASER.

The report says Mr. Shogren appeared unaffected and “continued to advance at an accelerated pace, holding the knife out from his body pointing at the officers.” Less lethal rounds were deployed, however according to the report, Shogren ran toward one of the officers with the knife extended. One of the officers shot Shogren twice. He fell to the ground while still holding the knife. Members of the Task Force provided medical aid to Shogren until an ambulance arrived.

He was declared dead at the hospital and the autopsy determined Mr. Shogren died as a result of the gunshot wounds.

According to the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office:

When a law enforcement officer uses force and a person dies or is seriously injured, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigates the officer’s actions and refers the investigation to a prosecutor without recommendation for review under Minnesota law. The BCA referred this OIS investigation to the Cook County Attorney’s Office in May of 2023. The evidence in this case included, but was not limited to, bodyworn camera and squad car dash camera video footage, law enforcement reports, and medical examiner reports.

Under Minnesota law, the use of deadly force by a peace officer in the line of duty is justified only if an objectively reasonable officer would believe, based on the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time and without the benefit of hindsight, that such force is necessary to protect the peace officer or another from death or great bodily harm, provided that the threat can be articulated with specificity, is reasonably likely to occur absent action by the law enforcement officer, and must be addressed through the use of deadly force without unreasonable delay.