Minnesota State Trooper Charged with Murder in Fatal Shooting During Traffic Stop

Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan is now at the center of a legal storm as he faces charges of second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree assault, and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of motorist Ricky Cobb II during a July traffic stop. Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announced the charges, emphasizing that the use of deadly force against Cobb, a 33-year-old Black man, was not justified.

The incident unfolded on July 31, 2023, when Trooper Brett Seide pulled Cobb over on a Minneapolis freeway for a faulty taillight on his Ford Fusion. Seide discovered a probable cause arrest for a felony order-for-protection violation issued by the nearby Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office during the stop.

As Seide attempted to arrest Cobb, Troopers Ryan Londregan and Garrett Erickson arrived at the scene. The situation escalated when Cobb refused to leave his car, prompting Londregan to shoot him. After being shot, Cobb drove away but stopped on the interstate shortly afterward. Despite the troopers’ attempts to save him, Cobb succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The charges against Londregan include second-degree unintentional murder, reflecting the belief that deadly force was not necessary to protect against a specific threat of great bodily harm or death. Attorney Chris Madel, representing Londregan, countered by calling his client a “hero” who was attempting to protect himself and a fellow trooper. Madel, in a video statement, expressed, “This county attorney is literally out of control. Open season on law enforcement must end. And it’s going to end with this case.”

According to the complaint, State Patrol policy explicitly states that troopers shall not fire at a moving vehicle except when deadly force is authorized. Moreover, troopers should avoid putting themselves in a position that increases the risk that a vehicle they’re approaching can be used as a deadly weapon.

Trooper Londregan, who has not been arrested, is expected to appear in court soon. While Moriarty’s office will not seek to hold him on bail, they will request the surrender of his passport and firearms. The internal affairs investigation by the State Patrol is ongoing, and Col. Matt Langer, chief of the State Patrol, expressed condolences for the loss felt by Cobb’s family and friends.

Cobb’s family and racial justice groups have demanded accountability, with his mother, Nyra Fields-Miller, stating, “Ryan Londregan stole my son from me. He gunned Ricky down, my son, for no reason while he was defenseless. Nothing can ever make up for that. But today’s decision is the first step toward closure and justice.” The charges against Londregan mark a step toward closure and justice, according to the family’s attorneys.