Skip to main content

Ramsey County: Billy Hughes' fatal shooting by police was justified

The 43-year-old exited his building while holding a gun.

Police were justified in fatally shooting 43-year-old Billy Hughes in St. Paul in early August.

That's according to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, which said on Friday it won't be taking any action against Officers Matthew Jones and Vincent Hughes over the Aug. 5 killing.

Bodycam footage showed Hughes exiting the multi-home property at 905 St. Anthony Avenue with a gun in his right hand where he was met by officers on his porch, after they'd received a report of shots being fired.

They opened fire when Hughes raised his right hand.

On Friday, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said the officers' use of deadly force was "objectively reasonable given all of the circumstances that they knew, heard and saw before firing their weapons."

"The officers’ actions preceding and during the fatal encounter are consistent with commonly-accepted police practices and training."

He then proceeded to express " deepest sympathies and sorrow" with Hughes' family, saying: "This tragedy is something all of us wish had never happened."

Follow Bring Me The News on LinkedIn

Choi's decision not to charge the officers has the support of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

"Officers must make split-second decisions without the benefits of rewind or instant replay," he said. "No training nor de-escalation technique could have guaranteed a peaceful resolution to the terrifying scene portrayed on body cam footage."

"This tragedy has touched our entire city," he added. "My heart goes out to Mr. Hughes’ family and friends, to Officers Adams and Jones, and to all in our community who mourn the loss of Billy Hughes."

Next Up

DeShaun Hill

Cody Fohrenkam found guilty of Deshaun Hill Jr.'s murder

The 15-year-old was fatally shot on Feb. 9, 2022.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 12.15.23 PM

Gov. Tim Walz proposes $3.3B for aging infrastructure

Walz's borrowing plan comes days after the release of his two-year state budget proposal.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 8.43.35 AM

Children's Theatre Company actors lose belongings in damaging house fire

The fire broke out Tuesday morning shortly after the dryer had been started.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Biden Admin. imposes 20-year mining ban near Boundary Waters

The moratorium is the maximum the Department of the Interior can implement without congressional approval.


Historic St. Paul building to be removed, put in storage after public outcry

The building was set to be demolished before community members spoke out against it.


Minnesota's COVID update for the week ending Tuesday, Jan. 24

Hospitalizations dipped for a second week in a row.


St. Paul police release bodycam footage of William Hughes shooting

The footage shows the 43-year-old raise his hand, holding a handgun, before he's shot.

Ronald Davis

Use of force 'justified' in fatal police shooting of Ronald Davis

The 31-year-old was holding a knife in his hand when he was shot dead.

Burnsville officer 'was justified' in fatal shooting of suicidal gunman

The suicidal man had recently quit his job and broken up with his girlfriend.

Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 10.46.47 PM

Fatal shooting is St. Paul's 7th homicide in September

The killing was reported at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Ronald Davis

St. Paul police releases body cam video of Ronald Davis shooting

The 31-year-old was shot dead after an altercation with an officer.