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Grand jury clears trooper in I-94 shooting in Washington County

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES
  • Star Tribune
  • January 31, 2012 - 7:24 PM

No criminal charges will be filed against a Minnesota state trooper who fatally shot a Washington County woman in September as she fled a traffic stop.

A grand jury declined Tuesday to issue an indictment against trooper David Kalinoff, a 12-year veteran, who shot Debra Doree on Sept. 3 on westbound Interstate 94, west of the Interstate 694-494 interchange and just before the Century Avenue exit.

During the stop, Doree ran to her car, hopped in and attempted to speed off. Kalinoff tried to stop her by reaching through the passenger window to remove keys from the ignition. Doree, 48, of Landfall, accelerated into highway traffic, dragging the trooper outside the car.

The grand jury ruled that the trooper was forced to shoot Doree to save himself from death or great bodily harm, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said.

"While every violent death is tragic, it was clear from the facts that the grand jury weighed the evidence and determined that the trooper was justified in his use of deadly force," Orput said.

"Their decision was the barometer of the community on the issue. That's what a grand jury is all about, to provide, on certain issues, the criminal justice system with a sense of what the community is thinking."

Orput and criminal division chief Fred Fink presented the case to the grand jury.

The State Patrol said last fall that Kalinoff stopped Doree, who lived near the shooting scene, on a Saturday afternoon because he noticed an equipment violation. He then observed possible drugs in the car and told Doree to get out, which she did.

When she jumped back inside and tried to flee, Kalinoff's arm became tangled in the steering wheel. He was dragged about 200 feet before he pulled his weapon and shot her.

Doree was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital. Kalinoff was treated for injuries to his wrist and knees, and he was placed on standard paid administrative leave.

The circumstances of the shooting were similar to those of a March 29, 2010, shooting of a driver by a Cottage Grove police officer during a traffic stop. Robert T. Wilson, 27, was fatally shot in the chest after dragging the officer, whose arm was also entangled in the steering wheel, more than 600 feet.

Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037 Twitter: @stribgiles

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