Security Guard Arrested After Police Say He Accidentally Shot Himself, Made Up Story About Shooter

September 14, 2017 09:44 AM

The security guard shot in the shoulder while on duty Tuesday night at St. Catherine University has been arrested by St. Paul police for allegedly falsely reporting a crime.

The arrest was announced at a press conference at police headquarters Wednesday night. A release from the department said Brent Patrick Ahlers, 25 of St. Louis Park, was arrested around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.

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Investigators with the St. Paul Police Department's Homicide-Robbery Unit say Ahlers admitted to accidentally shooting himself while handling his own gun. The release alleges he told investigators he feared losing his job, so he made up the story about being shot.

Ahlers has been booked into Ramsey County Jail for what police say was falsely reporting a crime, a misdemeanor.

RELATED: St. Catherine Security Guard Out of Hospital; Police Trying to Determine What Happened

Sgt. Mike Ernster, a public information officer with the St. Paul Police Department, said 55 officers responded to the initial call, along with four K-9s and a state patrol aircraft. He said even after the perimeter that had been set up was taken down around midnight, police spent even more time responding to calls from worried residents in the surrounding neighborhood.

"(The event) had, basically, 1,800 students held captive in their dorm rooms on the college of St. Catherine," Ernster said. "It had residents of the Mac-Groveland and Highland Park communities fearful there was a suspect on the lose and they could be victimized at any point."

Multiple sources had already told KSTP Wednesday that St. Paul police were "not actively searching for a suspect" in the matter.

RELATED: Security Officer Hurt in St. Catherine University Shooting, Search for Suspect Underway

Sources said investigators were having a hard time lining up details of the security guard's story and that's why they were no longer searching for a suspect. And the reason they had not released a suspect description is because they did not have a suspect description that's helpful.

Those same sources had said police were also looking into the possibility the security guard's gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

Police said the security guard told them he had been shot in the shoulder around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday by an unknown person after the guard had gone outside to check on a suspicious person near a wooded area on the university's campus.

Police flooded the area and locked down the university, and after nearly three hours of searching they called off the pursuit.

In a new statement, the university said Ahlers "has been a member of the St. Catherine Department of Public Safety for 15 months, with no reports of misconduct on his record prior to this incident. Before his hiring he had undergone a thorough background check."

Credits

Jay Kolls

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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