2 Officers Injured in South St. Paul Shooting, Suspect in Custody

July 19, 2018 09:21 PM

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

Authorities say two South St. Paul officers were shot after responding to what started out as a return of a missing person call early Thursday afternoon.


Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie said in a press conference held at South St. Paul City Hall that one officer was struck in the shoulder and the other was struck near the leg. The officer struck in the shoulder remains in the hospital, but neither injury is considered life-threatening.

Leslie said one of the officers was an 11-year veteran. The other was a six-year veteran. The names of the officer and suspect have not yet been released. The officers have been placed on standard administrative leave. 

South St. Paul Police Chief William Messerich said the incident began as a phone call regarding a missing person who had returned. The person the officers were speaking to was said to have sounded distraught. The call ended abruptly, and officers responded to the scene. An altercation ensued, and the suspect reportedly obtained a shotgun and began shooting.

Messerich said officers returned fire, but the suspect was not harmed. The gun was eventually dropped, and the suspect was taken into custody.

"Our situation had the possibility of a much more tragic outcome than it did," he said. "We're grateful the injuries to our officers were not any worse than they are."


2010: 2 assaulted by gun, 2 killed (Mahnomen County Deputy Christopher Dewey, Maplewood Police Sgt. Joseph Anthony Bergeron)
2011: 14 assaulted by gun, 1 killed (Lake City Officer Shawn Schneider)
2012: 14 assaulted by gun, 1 killed (Cold Spring Officer Tom Decker)
2013: 8 assaulted by gun, none killed
2014: 19 assaulted by gun, 1 killed (Mendota Heights Officer Scott Patrick)
2015: 16 assaulted by gun, 1 killed (Aitkin County Deputy Martin Sandberg)
2016: 14 assaulted by gun, none killed
2017: 16 assaulted by gun, none killed

Leslie said the suspect is in custody and was expected to be booked into Dakota County Jail later Thursday pending possible attempted murder charges.

The Dakota County Sheriff's Department is investigating the matter. Leslie said the department was in the process of interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence and taking photographs. He said he expects the information gathered could be presented to the Dakota County Attorney's Office as soon as Friday.

He described the residence to which officers responded - located on the 500 block of 12th Avenue North - as group residential housing offering support services.

Multiple other law enforcement agencies provided assistance in the incident.

Original story

The South St. Paul police department says an officer is being treated for injuries that are not considered life-threatening after being shot in an officer-involved shooting incident Thursday.

A statement from Police Chief William Messerich said the officer was on what was termed a "routine service call" at the time. The statement said the suspect was taken into custody and is uninjured.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Law Enforcement Audio From South St. Paul Shooting

The statement also said there was no immediate danger to the community. A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. at South St. Paul City Hall.

The Dakota County Sheriff's Department will be investigating the incident.

The full statement is as follows:

At this time our incident is contained and there is no immediate danger to the community. 

There will be a Press Conference at 3:00 PM at the South St. Paul City Hall, City Council Chambers, regarding our officer involved shooting incident.  During the incident one officer was shot while dealing with a routine service call and received non-life threatening injuries.  He is currently at the hospital receiving treatment.  The suspect was taken into custody and is uninjured.  The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office will be investigating the incident. 

We appreciate all the support and we received from our law enforcement partners who responded to the scene.       

Earlier, the Dakota County Sheriff's Office had confirmed a suspect was in custody. South St. Paul said the suspect is uninjured.        

This is a breaking news story. KSTP is working to get more details on this story and will post updates as more information becomes available.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com as we follow this story. Refresh your page to make sure you are seeing the most current information.

Brett Hoffland and Katherine Johnson contributed to this report.


Theresa Malloy and Frank Rajkowski

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