St. Paul cop may have accidentally shot St. Thomas student
Around 4 a.m. Sunday, a 20-year-old University of St. Thomas student named Charlie was watching TV in his Merriam Park residence when he heard a loud pop.
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Charlie felt a burn and saw that his wrist had been bloodied. Shortly thereafter, he noticed his bottle of Gatorade was leaking. Upon inspection, he saw that the bottle had been punctured by a bullet that had apparently penetrated the wall of his residence, the Star Tribune reports (Charlie asked the Strib to withhold his last name from publication).
An MPR report details the chain of events that culminated in Charlie getting grazed by a bullet (his injuries didn't warrant hospitalization, though the Strib notes that his arm was bandaged when a reporter talked to him yesterday):
Police say they were called to a suspected church burglary about 4 a.m. [Sunday] morning and officers saw a suspicious car leaving the area, near the 1700 block of Dayton Ave.The person driving the car the suspect hopped out of left the scene, unapprehended. The officer involved in the shooting suffered a knee injury during the chase and was placed on standard three-day administrative leave.
Two St. Paul Police followed in a marked squad and saw a passenger get out of the car and flee on foot. A St. Paul sergeant has told investigators that he believed the suspect was carrying a handgun, and the officer fired multiple times.
The suspect was hit at least once and taken to Regions Hospital, where police said he was in critical condition. "We're not going to elaborate on the injuries at this time," said police spokesman Paul Paulos.
An occupant of a nearby home was also injured. Police say a man reported being grazed by a bullet believed to have been fired during the incident. "We don't know whether it came from the suspect or the officer's handgun," Paulos said.
During a visit from a Star Tribune reporter, another resident living near the intersection of Wheeler Street and Dayton Avenue pointed out about a half-dozen bullet holes in his garage that resulted from the Sunday-morning shooting. That resident, Brian Dalton, said the gunshots caused his two young children to wake up and start crying.
If it indeed is the case that police fired the shots that struck Charlie and his garage, "I would say possibly [officers] should have been more cautious," Dalton told the Strib.
Paulus, the St. Paul PD spokesman, told the Strib he "believes" the as-of-yet-unnamed suspect was found with a gun, but it's unclear whether he fired it at any point during the Sunday-morning incident.
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Correcting info from Sunday events in officer-involved shooting: Officer originally responded to burglary at 1824 Marshall Av. Not a church.-- St. Paul Police PIO (@sppdPIO) November 18, 2013