CHANHASSEN, Minn. (WCCO) — Exactly two months after Carver County deputies shot and killed his 16-year-old son, the father of Archer Amorosi is speaking out.
The Minnetonka High School student was killed at his Chanhassen home on July 13.
According to investigators, his mother called authorities that morning, saying her son was acting “destructive” and carrying knives and a baseball bat.
The BCA said Archer did not comply with commands and was holding a hatchet and a handgun-style BB-gun. But his father, Don, believes more could have been done to de-escalate the situation and save his son’s life.
“There is one theme that stands out and that’s that they weren’t on our side. They weren’t on my side, they weren’t on Archer’s mother’s side and certainly not on Archer’s side. And after the shots were fired, it got no better,” said Amorosi.
He believes his son was struggling with mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, and was going through a crisis when law enforcement arrived.
“We were treated horribly those next few hours and the right people weren’t there when that happened,” said Amorosi.
Now, he is committed to working towards change in the community, fighting for an outside investigation into the shooting and sweeping changes when it comes to mental health outreach.
“This didn’t happen anywhere but in the front yard of a home in Chanhassen and accountability needs to begin in Chanhassen,” said Amorosi.
After speaking before city council twice, he claims he has been met with few answers from the city and the county.
“The answer is ‘Why don’t we talk after the investigation is closed?’” Amorosi said.
The director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota tells WCCO-TV there are several things cities can do to help improve the mental health framework. That includes transferring 911 calls to crisis teams, and improved training went it comes to law enforcement and 911 operators.
The mayor of Chanhassen tells WCCO-TV he thinks the council should wait until the details of the investigation are made available before making any decisions about what changes could be made.
“From that, we can consider what Mr. Amorosi has asked for… specifically what can be done to address possible breakdowns in protocol or systems that may have contributed to the escalation of this situation,” said Denny Laufenburger in a written statement.
“I am not a counselor or psychologist. However, I believe that there needs to be an improvement in the awareness of and availability of services to parents, guardians and other community members that could help our young people that are in vulnerable situations,” Laufenberger said.
The BCA investigation is set to be complete on Friday.