Olivia resident killed in officer-involved shooting
A memorial in the heart of downtown Olivia has grown since Sunday, July 4.
The memorial marks the location where Olivia resident Ricardo Torres, Jr., 32 was shot and killed by Olivia Police Officer Aaron Clouse the early morning hours of July 4 during an incident that occurred in the alley behind Dirks Furniture.
While details as to what happened have been scant, an audio recording of the call between Clouse and dispatch hears the Olivia Police Officer of 11 years in the direct aftermath.
“Shots fired behind Dirks Furniture. Ric Torres just pulled a gun on me. Shot fired. Send help.”
Clouse would go on to tell dispatch that Torres came around his vehicle with a shotgun. “I told him to stop. He pulled it on me.”
He indicated that he was in the alley setting up a game camera for law enforcement purposes when the meeting with Torres happened.
Asked by dispatch if Torres fled the scene, Clouse made clear: “He’s down. He’s in front of me. I’m sorry to tell you that he is down.”
Before 7 a.m. the same morning a contingent from the Bureau of Criminal Aprehension (BCA) was on site to meet with Olivia leadership investigate the shooting. Since then, all official information surrounding the shooting has come through the agency. Olivia leadership, following legal advice, is not presently commenting on the matter.
An initial press release from the BCA was issued on Sunday and then a second just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening. The release states that Torres died at Olivia Hospital following multiple gun shots wounds received during the incident that occurred at approximately 2:20 a.m. It also indicates a shotgun was retrieved at the site.
Following standard protocol, Clouse has been placed on administrative leave while the BCA Use of Force Investigations unit conducts its review. According to Minnesota Department of Public Safety Information Officer Jill Oliveira this process may take from weeks to months.
The release also states that the Olivia Police Department does not use body cameras and there is no dash camera or other known video of the incident. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the BCA at 651-793-7000.
Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will provide its findings without recommendation to the Renville County Attorney’s Office for review. Renville County Attorney Dave Torgelson, in turn, has indicated that he will hand the case off to another county attorney so as to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
Those acquainted with Torres expressed disbelief, anger and grief at his loss. While having a history of relatively minor run-ins with the law enforcement, those close to him expressed belief that his reported activities Saturday were uncharacteristic. A pair of Torres’ employers described him as a polite, good guy and hard worker who also had a wild side.
Torres is said to have lived in Olivia for the past five years. He leaves behind a nine month old daughter, Kaesyn.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 7 after the Register has gone to print.