Justified: St. James Officer Cleared in Shooting Death of Suspect

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(St. James, MN) – A review by prosecutors has determined that the St. James police officer who shot and killed a suspect last winter was justified in using deadly force.

The investigation into the fatal incident on January 31st, 2018, is now complete and Assistant Chief Rochelle Hanson will not face any charges for her actions.

Gilberto Salas of Gaylord had led police on a pursuit in a stolen car and then fled inside the Casey’s in St. James. Inside the convenience store, Salas was tased several times, but still didn’t comply. Officer Hanson shot him four times when he advanced toward her and refused orders to drop his knife.

Hanson later told BCA investigators that she had never been so afraid as she was in that store…that she thought she was going to die that day.

Salas died of a gunshot wound to the head. He also received bullet wounds to the left hip, groin and “upper left extremity.” Toxicology determined he had alcohol and methamphetamine in his system.

The review of the shooting was done by the Washington County Attorneys Office.

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