A 16-year-old boy described as suicidal was shot dead by Carver County deputies with his parents nearby after a brief standoff outside his Chanhassen home.
The teen was identified by classmates as Archer Amorosi, a lacrosse and football player who was set to begin his junior year at Minnetonka High School. Police said he brandished weapons at officers.
Deputies responded to the house in the 6400 block of Oriole Avenue just off Hwy. 7 about 10 a.m. after a woman called 911 to report that her son was suicidal and threatening her with knives and a baseball bat, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
When deputies arrived they first used a Taser before two of them fired their weapons. Amorosi was pronounced dead at the scene. Body cameras and dash camera video from one of the five responding agencies “may have recorded portions of the incident,” according to the BCA, the agency now investigating the shooting. Both officers involved in the shooting are now on standard administrative leave, and the BCA will turn its findings over to the Carver County Attorney’s Office for review.
By midafternoon, more than a dozen friends and teammates had come to grieve with relatives as investigators processed the crime scene nearby. Many of the teen’s friends huddled together, crying in disbelief.
Reed Greenwood, 16, described Amorosi as loud and energetic, part of the popular crowd at school. Social media photos of Amorosi depict a strapping young man with long blond hair and a bright smile.
Two teenage boys from Minnetonka High arrived to pay their respects but declined to be identified. They described him as a talented athlete and “super fun, nice guy.”
One boy questioned the use of force. “They knew about the mental issues,” he said. “It’s sad it had to end this way.”
On Twitter, fellow students posted memories of Amorosi and messages of condolences to the family.
“Rip dude): u deserved better,” read one tweet. “Today I lost a brother. Long live Archer,” read another. Minnetonka High’s lacrosse team tweeted, “Rest easy, Archer, we will miss you incredibly and love you forever.”
Emergency dispatch audio from the Carver County Sheriff’s Office revealed how the altercation quickly unfolded.
“Male party has knives and a baseball bat,” the 911 dispatcher said of the initial call. “Mother is stating that he wants the officers to shoot him.”
The dispatcher identified the male as Amorosi. His mother, who called 911, said he had disabled the garage door, locking her inside the garage.
“I was there yesterday. Dad said that he’s got some mental health issues,” an officer responded on the audio. “Has this idea that he wants to go out like Bonnie and Clyde.”
The officer said the father wasn’t aware of any firearms on the property other than an airsoft pellet gun. An officer warned that the teen would be “hostile towards law enforcement as well.”
According to the audio, officers arrived and saw the teenager in the living room with “some kind of handgun” in his left hand and a knife in the right. Mental health crisis services were also called to the scene.
Officers formed a perimeter and one noted that “he does continually point a handgun in my direction.” Amorosi began pacing between the front of the house and garage door, as deputies discussed how to get the mother out of the garage. The teen then returned to the living room and alternated aiming between the officers and the garage door. Pepper spray was deployed.
According to the audio, the teen’s father then arrived and was escorted away. The officers held Amorosi at gunpoint while he had “a hatchet and something in his hands.”
“Get both the parents out of here,” another officer said just before Amorosi was shot.
“Shots fired, shots fired, ambulance code 3, suspect is down” an officer said. CPR was performed in the yard on the south side of the house.
Ambulances were called for the mother and an officer, who had minor injuries.
A minute later a responder tells dispatch, “At this time we have terminated efforts on the gunshot victim,” and cancels a call for an ambulance.
Heather Sandahl, who lives two doors down, saw police approaching the Amorosi home as she was leaving her house at 10:10 a.m. for a Paisley Park tour.
Some officers appeared to be removing their guns from holsters and putting on bullet-resistant vests. “We went back and asked the officers, ‘Are we safe here?’ ” Sandahl recalled. “They said they weren’t sure, and we left as more squads came rushing down the road.”
It wasn’t until after the tour that she found out what had happened. A friend who remained inside her home had dropped to the ground as shots rang out soon after, she said.
Hours later, Sandahl was waiting down the road at the Cub Foods parking lot, since she was blocked from her driveway. When she learned the victim was Amorosi, she hunched over in tears.
“It’s just not fair,” she said.
Greg Greenwood, who lives down the street from the scene of the shooting, said he heard two popping sounds just before 10:30 a.m. while he was in the Caribou parking lot about a quarter mile away.
“I hunt, so I know gunshots,” said Greenwood, whose son Reed attends Minnetonka High. “We don’t have much happen around here, so when it does, it’s a big shock.”