County Attorney: Deadly Force Justified in Hermantown Shooting

Updated: September 11, 2019 06:25 PM

The St. Louis County Attorney has determined that the use of deadly force was justified in an officer-involved shooting in Hermantown.


Back in May, deputies were responding to a motorcyclist who was allegedly speeding. The chase ended when the motorcycle got stuck, and the rider then lead authorities on a foot chase. This was near Stebner Road and Highway 53.

Shots were fired, and the motorcyclist was struck by a squad car. The suspect, 37-year-old Timothy Russell Majchrzak, died at the scene.

According to the just released reports, Deputy Jason Kuhnly was the one who fired shots at Majchrazak, and Deputy Troy Fralich was driving the squad that hit him.

Review and Report from Gordon P. Coldagelli, Attorney
Review and Report from Molly Hicken, Attorney

Video from the dash cam from Kuhnly's vehicle shows Majchrzak pointing a gun at his own head, before pointing it at the deputy.

The reports said that Majchrzak fired his gun first, at Deputy Kuhnly, who then returned fire. Majchrzak kept getting up, and pointing his gun at the deputy, per the report. Deputy Kuhnly reported he was in fear for his life when he was firing, and the suspect was not going or staying down.

Then, in the video, you see the squad come up and hit the suspect.

According to the reports, only 23 seconds spans between when the guns were first drawn, to the squad crash moment. One attorney reviewing the case described it as a running gun battle.

Authorities said that Majchrzak was wearing a ballistic vest. The medical examiner reported that he died from a gunshot wound to his arm and chest. He also had methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system, according to the medical examiner.

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin had two separate attorneys review the investigative reports. They are Gordon Coldagelli, who retired as a prosecutor in the St. Louis County Attorney's office, and current Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken.

Both came to the same conclusion that the use of deadly force by both deputies was clearly necessary, justified, and authorized under the law. Kuhnly, because he feared for his life, and Fralich, because he was protecting his partner.

Hicken ended her report with this statement. "It is unfortunate that Timothy Majchrzak lost his life. A family is left grieving. But given tje grave threat of a suspect actively shooting in their direction, any reasonable peace officer would have seen the action that Deputy Kuhnly took as necessary to protect his own life. And a peace officer seeing his partner threatened as Deputy Fralich did would be required by duty to take similar action as he did in order to preserve a life."

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