Mary Moriarty files murder charge against trooper in fatal shooting of Ricky Cobb

Londregan, 27, has also been charged with first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter in the incident that took place on July 31 of last year.

The body camera videos show Cobb put his hand on the gear shift as the troopers opened the doors to his car. (BCA)

Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan has been charged by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office with second-degree unintentional murder in the shooting death of Ricky Cobb II during a traffic stop on I-94 last year.

Londregan, 27, has also been charged with first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter in the incident that took place on July 31 of last year.

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announced the charges Wednesday in a statement, saying that the criminal complaint alleges the circumstances in this case did not justify the use of deadly force.

“A critical component of the work of the Minnesota State Patrol is engaging with drivers during motor vehicle stops,” Moriarty said in the statement. “This is something that State Troopers do every day, and, as a result, they receive extensive training on how to do so safely and effectively. Trooper Londregan did not follow this training. These charges are appropriate based on the thorough investigation conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and attorneys in our office. This matter is now an active criminal prosecution.”

A handgun was found in 33-year-old Cobb’s vehicle after the shooting, but troopers’ body camera video released following the incident never showed Cobb holding the gun.

Cobb was a convicted felon with gang ties and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

Troopers Brett Seide and Garrett Erickson also responded to the incident but did not discharge their firearms. Londregan and Seide both suffered minor injuries during the incident, according to the BCA. Both of them were “knocked down” as Cobb began to flee, the BCA previously said.

“Ah, I just got f–ing dragged,” Seide could be heard saying in the body camera video.

Seide pulled Cobb’s vehicle over on I-94 around 1:50 a.m. when he saw Cobb drive past him without his rear lights on. When Seide pulled Cobb over, he learned he was wanted for a felony order for protection violation issued in Ramsey County. Londregan and Erickson pulled up to assist.

All three troopers then approached Cobb’s car, asking him to get out and attempting to physically remove him because he refused to exit. Londregan fired his handgun during this attempt. The body camera videos show Cobb put his hand on the gear shift as the troopers opened the doors to his car.

The criminal complaint describes troopers on both sides of Cobb’s vehicle, with Londregan on the passenger side having opened the passenger door and shouting commands for Cobb to exit the vehicle.

Londregan reached for his firearm as the trooper on the driver’s side, previously identified as Seide, reached over to Cobb’s seatbelt. The vehicle began to roll forward as the trooper on the driver’s side grabbed at Cobb. The complaint says that Londregan fired his gun twice, striking Cobb within tenths of a second after ordering Cobb out of the vehicle.

The vehicle accelerated forward while the trooper on the driver’s side was still leaning inside the vehicle. That trooper and Londregan both tried to keep pace with the vehicle for 6 to 10 feet before both lost their footing and fell to the ground.

Cobb’s vehicle continued down I-94 and eventually impacted a concrete median about a quarter mile away.

The three troopers went back to their vehicles and followed Cobb down the highway. When they caught up to him, the troopers pulled Cobb from the vehicle and attempted life-saving care, but Cobb died at the scene.

Moriarty said during a Wednesday press conference that shooting Cobb was not an “appropriate or necessary use of deadly force” and indicated it was not consistent with training Londregan would have received.

Londregan has been charged by summons, not arrest warrant, so there is no booking photo at this time, and is expected to make a court appearance later this week. Moriarty stated in a press conference that her office will not be seeking to set a bail amount. However, Londregan will be requested to surrender his passport and firearm.

Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer responded to the decision in a press release by stating:

“Any time a use-of-force incident ends with the loss of a life, it is tragic. Ricky Cobb II’s death is no different. This is a sad situation for everyone involved. We acknowledge the deep loss felt by Mr. Cobb’s family and friends. We also recognize the gravity of this situation for the State Patrol and our troopers tasked with making difficult split-second decisions.
In accordance with the troopers’ labor contract, Trooper Ryan Londregan will remain on paid leave while an investigation by the Department of Public Safety’s Internal Affairs Division is completed. That investigation has begun and will inform employment decisions.
The State Patrol is also conducting a critical incident review that will examine and inform our training and policies.
Today’s announcement of criminal charges by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office marks the next step in the judicial process related to this case. We respect that process and cannot comment further due to the ongoing criminal proceedings.”

Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

 

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.