MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — St. Paul Police Commander John Bandemer remembers the events of Aug. 26, 1994, like it was yesterday.
That morning, police were called to check on a “slumper” — a person found asleep in a vehicle. Officer Ron Ryan Jr. approached the vehicle, woke up the driver and obtained his identification.
As he was walking back to the squad car, the suspect opened fire on him.
“There were squads within a couple blocks of that area who heard the gun shots,” Bandemer said.
Officer Tim Jones came on duty to help in the search. He was checking a fish house that his K-9, Laser, was whining about. The suspect was inside.
“He fired on the officer through the door,” he said
Ryan, Jones and Laser all died from their injuries. Bandemer says since then, there have been changes made in department policy.
“We no longer just send one officer to a slumper,” he said.
As for K-9 searches, they now send two officers on a call.
“Because they’re busy, they’re busy with their dog … looking, searching, digging through things. They don’t always have the full, 360-degree angle of what’s happening around them,” he said.
Bandemer says fellow officers often talk about that tragic day because it’s important to remember the ultimate sacrifice the officers gave.