No Charges Against Hospital Security in Taser Death of Danny Hammond
ST. CLOUD -- An investigation by the Stearns County Attorney's Office into the death of a man who shot and killed an Aitkin County Sheriff's Deputy at St. Cloud Hospital determined no charges will be filed against a hospital security officer who tased him.
The security officer, Ricky Hess Jr., will not face charges in the death of Danny Hammond. Hess tased Hammond as he tried to subdue him following the shooting death of Deputy Steven Sandberg October 18th.
Hammond had grabbed Deputy Sandberg's gun during a struggle and shot and killed him inside the hospital room.
Hess and a sheriff's deputy responded to Hammond's hospital room after a report of gunshots fired. The report shows Hess arrived at the room and saw Deputy Sandberg lying on the floor with blood next to him. Hess entered the room, ordered Hammond onto his stomach and to put his hands behind his back. The report showed Hammond resisted and Hess deployed his taser to subdue Hammond.
Hammond was then handcuffed and determined to unresponsive. Efforts to revive Hammond failed.
An autopsy determined Hammond died of probable sudden cardiac death as a likely result of previous existing heart disease, additional heart issues caused by his drug overdose, the physical altercation with Deputy Sandberg, and the use of the taser.
The investigation ruled Hess' use of force was both reasonable and justified by the circumstances and that he couldn't have known Hammond's heart condition.
The use of a taser is considered a non-lethal tool used to incapacitate a suspect and therefore Hess will not face charges in Hammond's death.
Sandberg was guarding Hammond at St. Cloud Hospital when he was shot and killed. Hammond was being monitored until he could be released from the hospital to face charges of kidnapping and terrorizing his wife.