ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a 65-year-old man armed with a knife will not be charged, state and local prosecutors said.

The offices of the Minnesota Attorney General and the Ramsey County Attorney announced Wednesday that Officer Abdirahmin Dahir's use of force to kill Yia Xiong early last year was “objectively reasonable to stop the deadly threat" that officers faced.

The shooting happened after police responded to a report of a man threatening people with a long knife inside a community room of an apartment complex in St. Paul on Feb. 11, 2023. Investigators said Dahir and Officer Noushue Cha encountered Xiong in the hallway that led to his apartment. But Xiong did not respond to their commands to drop the knife, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Instead, he went into his apartment. The officers kicked the door to stop it from fully shutting and ordered him to come out, then backed down the hallway, the bureau said.

Xiong stepped into the hallway, knife still in hand. That’s when the officers fired, Dahir using a rifle, and Cha a Taser, investigators said.

Relatives have said that Xiong struggled to understand orders to drop the knife, a traditional Hmong knife, because of a language barrier and extreme hearing loss suffered while fighting in the U.S. Secret War in Laos.

The Justice for Yia Xiong Coalition said the decision not to charge the officer “is a profound disappointment,” but that the coalition will work to seek changes to police procedures and training, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

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