Multiple St. Paul officers on leave after fatal officer-involved shooting

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UPDATE 5 p.m. 2/12/23: At least two officers are on leave and a man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in St. Paul Saturday night.

One officer deployed a taser and another shot and killed a man police say “advanced on them” with a knife, according to St. Paul police Public Information Officer Sgt. Mike Ernster.

Police would not clarify how many officers were involved beyond the statement that “multiple officers who were present were placed on administrative leave.”

As previously reported, St. Paul police were called to Winslow Commons, an affordable housing complex for seniors and people with disabilities on the 100 block of Western Avenue South. Officers were told a man in the community room was threatening people with a knife, according to Ernster.

“Officers located that man on the first floor in a hallway. He had a knife in his hand and officers directed him to drop it,” Ernster said during press conference at 10:45 p.m. Saturday.

“Officers retreated when the man advanced on them. One officer deployed a taser. A second officer fired shots that struck the man.”

Medics determined the man was dead at the scene.

Multiple Winslow Commons residents tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the man who was shot by police lived there, too. One person who lives there, who wished to remain anonymous, said he didn’t remember the name of the man who died but remembered him fondly.

“Yeah, it’s a tragic thing anytime someone loses their life,” the resident said.

Photos taken inside the building by a resident Sunday morning show caution tape blocking off a portion of a hallway. Behind the tape, a single pink balloon remained from what began as a Saturday night social. View the photos at the bottom of this update.

Martha Cianchette frequently walks by the apartment building with her dog. She lives just over a block from there, where she first saw the commotion Saturday evening.

“It’s unsettling,” she said on a walk Sunday. “It was quite a heavy presence unlike anything I’ve seen, certainly in this neighborhood.”

Winslow Commons did not return a call for comment Sunday. As is standard with an officer-involved shooting, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has taken over the investigation.

When that wraps up, the BCA report will head to the Ramsey County Attorney’s office for review.

Watch 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and check for more coverage as the investigation develops. Find earlier versions of this story below.

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UPDATE 11:17 p.m. 2/11/23: A St. Paul police officer fatally shot a man in a building on the 100 block of Western Avenue S. Saturday night, Sergeant Mike Ernster said at a press conference.

Officers were called to the scene around 5 p.m. on a report of a man in the building’s community room threatening people with a knife.

When officers found the man, they told him to drop the knife. According to police, the man advanced on officers with the knife.

One officer deployed a taser and a second officer shot at the man, hitting him.

Despite first aid, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both officers were wearing body-worn cameras, which recorded the shooting, according to police.

The officers will both be placed on standard administrative leave.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting and will release the names of those involved, police said. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will forward its findings to the Ramsey county Attorney’s Office for review.

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INITIAL REPORT 7 p.m. 2/11/23: St. Paul officers were involved in a shooting off of the 100 block of Western Avenue S around 5 p.m., the department said.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS photographers on scene say a person was taken away in an ambulance. Police tape was set up and officers were investigating.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is responding to a use of force in St. Paul.

There will be a press conference later tonight, police said.