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Beltrami County deputy cleared in fatal shooting

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BEMIDJI, Minn. — A sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a Beltrami County man in a standoff in June has been cleared of any criminal charges.

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“It is my conclusion that no criminal charges are warranted with respect to this matter,” Beltrami County Attorney Timothy Faver wrote in a letter to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

On June 26, Beltrami County sheriff’s deputies were engaged in a standoff with Miquell “Mike” Deppa, 34, north of Bemidji. Deppa was in possession of a rifle and threatening suicide, according to law enforcement.

His mother and girlfriend had taken shelter in a bathroom. They were able to leave the residence safely and after they did, Deppa shot toward the deputies, Faver’s letter said.

Deputy Jeff Roberts, a trained sniper, witnessed Deppa shooting toward the deputies, Faver said. As Deppa shouldered his rifle and aimed in the direction of other deputies, Roberts fired his rifle, striking Deppa, officials said. An autopsy revealed Deppa later died from the gunshot wound.

Peace officers are authorized by law to use deadly force to protect themselves or another individual from death or great bodily harm, Faver said.

Following a mandatory, three-day administrative leave, Roberts was reinstated to active duty.

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