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Temporary memorial set up in Olivia alleyway for man killed by police

A makeshift memorial is now located in the area where an individual was killed Sunday during an altercation with an on-duty Olivia Police Department officer. A news release stated the person was armed, though it does not say with what. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating. It has not released the identification of the officer or the person killed. The Olivia Police Department does not use body cameras, though squad cars are equipped with cameras.

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The memorial was set up in Olivia at the location where Ricardo Torres Jr. was shot by an Olivia police officer on Sunday. Tim Speier / West Central Tribune

OLIVIA — A temporary memorial has been erected in the area where a man was fatally shot by an Olivia police officer Sunday in a downtown Olivia alleyway.

Family and friends have identified the man as Ricardo Torres Jr., 32.

According to city officials, the person was killed during an altercation with an on-duty Olivia Police Department officer. A news release stated the individual was armed, though it did not say with what. The release does say that person confronted the police officer in an alley around 2:20 a.m. Sunday, though it does not elaborate on why or how the person confronted the officer.

The person shot was transported to Olivia Hospital & Clinic , where they were pronounced deceased, according to the release.

According to Olivia City Administrator Dan Coughlin, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrived in Olivia early Sunday morning and is in charge of the investigation. The state agency has not released the identification of the officer or the person killed.

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Coughlin confirmed the Olivia Police Department does not use body cameras, though the department's squad cars are equipped with cameras.

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension public information officer Jill Oliveira wrote in an email to the West Central Tribune on Tuesday afternoon that there were no new updates at this point.

"The BCA is in the very early stages of its investigation. We will have additional information as the investigation progresses," Oliveira wrote in an email Sunday.

In interviews with Fox 9 TV , those who knew Torres are questioning the narrative authorities released about the incident.

Natasha Lindner, who identified herself to the station as Torres' girlfriend of four years and said he is the father to their nine-month-old, told the TV station that she is angry and that Torres was a good guy.

"I don’t think that this was just the cop defending himself at all," she told Fox 9.

Friends and family of Torres told the station that Torres was known to carry a pellet gun and that an officer with the city had it out for Torres.

"It kinda upsets me how it went down because it’s a small town," Brad Westphal, a friend of Torres, told the station. "That didn’t need to happen. Where is his stun gun?"

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Coughlin wrote in an email that Olivia Mayor Jon Hawkinson has been active in trying to gain an understanding of the situation and providing support to the BCA.

The Olivia officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the BCA's investigation.

Olivia is located about 25 miles south of Willmar. The town is the county seat of Renville County.

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The memorial is set in the downtown Olivia alleyway where Ricardo Torres Jr. was shot by an Olivia police officer on Sunday. Tim Speier / West Central Tribune

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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