The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has completed its investigation into the shooting death of Anthony Legato in Pine County on Oct. 9, and the case is now under review by the Pine County Attorney’s Office.
The BCA investigation included evaluating the body camera and squad camera footage of the incident and interviewing incident participants and witnesses.
Pine County Attorney Reese Frederickson said he has received the results of the BCA investigation into the shooting, and is hoping to have a decision about whether or not to file charges against Pine County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joshua Pepin within one to three weeks.
Shooting on Oct. 9
According to the BCA, Pepin shot and killed Anthony Michael Legato, 25, of Oak Park during a confrontation on Interstate 35 on Friday, Oct. 9.
The incident happened in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35 near mile marker 180 and the Mora exit.
The BCA reports that Pine County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call on Friday around 1:45 p.m. from the victim of an reported domestic incident at the Grand Casino Hinckley. On their way to the casino, the deputies spotted the suspect’s vehicle and began to pursue it.
Legato entered I-35 the wrong way, driving south in the northbound lane. Shortly after this, Legato pulled to the side of the highway and exited his vehicle.
Pepin was driving northbound on I-35 and pulled over immediately south of Legato’s vehicle. As Pepin exited his squad, Legato then reentered his vehicle and began to pull out into oncoming traffic. The BCA states that Pepin fired his weapon at some point during the confrontation, and struck Legato. Portions of the incident were captured on body cameras and squad cameras.
Legato’s vehicle rolled forward, crashing into an oncoming vehicle and then came to a stop in the median.
Deputies provided immediate medical assistance, but EMTs pronounced Legato deceased at the scene. He was taken to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office for identification and autopsy.
The driver of the other vehicle was not seriously injured. No officers were injured during the incident. The victim of the reported domestic incident was not injured.
The Minnesota State Patrol and a DNR conservation officer assisted at the scene. A portion of I-35 was closed until the area was cleared.
Pepin was placed on standard administrative leave.
Protest at BCA
Family members of Legato joined with demonstrators at the BCA headquarters in St. Paul on Jan. 22 to call for the results of the investigation and the release of body camera and squad camera footage of the incident.
“My son was a loving, caring young man with many friends,” said Anthony’s father Michael Legato in a statemeent. “Anthony’s death leaves us all heartbroken and leaves his 3-year-old son without a father.”