Sheriff: 'Latest St. Paul homicide victim might not have died with ShotSpotter technology'
Ramsey County Sheriff, Bob Fletcher, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a 19-year-old, Marcus Johnson, who died Feb. 15, "maybe could have lived" if St. Paul had ShotSpotter technology, which can detect gunshots within 30 yards of their location.
Fletcher noted there was a 27-minute gap from the time Johnson was shot and the time St. Paul police received the 911 call. Additionally, Fletcher said the original location was given as Kennard Street and Rose Avenue, when Johnson was actually lying wounded at Kennard Street and Ross Avenue.
"ShotSpotter would have been able to notify police within seconds of the gunfire," Fletcher said. "And, it would have given officers a location within 30 yards and allowed them to saturate the area quickly and maybe given the victim a fighting chance to survive."
Fletcher said the quicker response time with a more accurate location of the gunshots would have happened with the ShotSpotter technology and it would have given officers a better chance of catching the suspects.
"The guys who did this shooting and killed Johnson had too much time to get away," Fletcher said. "When you are looking at 25 to 30 minutes to get there, the bad guys in most cases are going to be long gone."
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter was not available for an on-camera interview, but a spokesperson put out this statement:
Wild speculation about a tragedy still under investigation doesn't help our neighbors in mourning, and undercuts the officers working around the clock to solve this crime. Our comprehensive Public Safety strategy, which raised our number of police officers to its highest point in history while investing in a set of proven crime reduction strategies, is centered on real evidence and data, not fear-based talking points.
St. Paul police do not comment on any portion of an active and open investigation and investigators have not yet made any arrests in connection with Johnson's shooting death.