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

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

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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."

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