The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has named Goodhue County Deputy Steve Sutton-Brown as the person who fatally shot 24-year-old Fernando Javier Carbajal during a fight in Red Wing last week.
Nearly 20 years into his law enforcement career, Sutton-Brown has discharged his department weapon. He is now on paid administrative leave while the BCA investigates. The BCA’s findings will be presented to the Goodhue County attorney’s office for evaluation regardless of whether or not a referral was made.
It was previously stated in a BCA statement that the Red Wing Police Department was also conducting its investigation.
Carbajal has been charged with three counts of assault for the alleged attack on Sutton-Brown: two counts of felony assault and one count of gross misdemeanor assault. On December 21, he is expected to make another public appearance.
The BCA claims there is no footage of the gunshot itself but that a witness did videotape the argument that led up to it.
According to court filings and the BCA:
Approximately before 1 p.m. on November 22nd, Carbajal was traveling between 50 and 90 mph when he smashed into a telephone pole at Bay Point Park. Despite the collision, he got out of the car and walked away.
Sutton-Brown was in the area for diving training and was the first responder. When he finally made contact, Sutton-Brown was overheard on the radio telling dispatch that Carbajal was suicidal. After the two made contact, dispatch received a report of gunfire.
Carbajal was arrested after witnesses reported seeing him rush the deputy investigator on the case.
According to the BCA’s press release, “Sutton-Brown had come from training, so he was without his typical assortment of gear,” which would have included “less-lethal alternatives” including spray, a baton, or a Taser.
Law enforcement officials were informed by witnesses that it seemed Sutton-Brown tried to tase Carbajal before opening fire.
One witness reported to police, “He was yelling and being belligerent and had his arms up.” “She added that it looked to her that the male (Carbajal) was trying to challenge the officer to a physical fight,” reads part of the complaint.
Instead of his uniform, Sutton-Brown was wearing a sheriff’s department sweater. He also activated the emergency lights on his unmarked car.
At least one of Carbajal’s unprotected body parts was struck by one of Sutton-three Brown’s shots. One witness told authorities that after Carbajal was shot, he fell to the ground but quickly got up and started after the deputy.
One eyewitness estimated the duration of the exchange at sixty seconds. The bullet casings for three shots were found by the BCA.
According to Sutton-account Brown to the police sergeant in Red Wing, “He just kept coming at me,” and that he wounded his foot as he fell. Tragically, Sutton-Brown shattered her foot.
The Goodhue County sheriff’s office received Carbajal the next day after he was treated at the Red Wing hospital and subsequently the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Carbajal has been released from jail after posting a $10,000 bond. He is required to undergo a mental health assessment as part of his terms of release.
Together, the defendant’s “claimed remarks and conduct that day support a conclusion that the defendant was intentionally seeking to commit suicide or suicide by a policeman,” as stated by Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Erin Lousie Kuester in court.
Responding officer Travis Bray, who had previously served as a school resource officer and football coach at Red Wing High School, immediately recognized Carbajal. For Carbajal’s medical care, Bray lent a hand.
Sorrowfully, “I apologize to you, Bray. Carbajal stated to Bray, “I didn’t want you to see me that way. “I truly screwed up and did some terrible things that my family would be ashamed of.”