ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – St. Paul Police said one person is dead after an officer-involved shooting Thursday morning.
The incident happened around 6:45 a.m. Thursday near a gas station in the area of Plato Boulevard and Wabasha Street, just outside of downtown St. Paul. Police say the officer involved was not hurt.
Police have not yet confirmed the identity of the man who was killed, but they know quite a bit about his last actions.
“Nine-one-one callers warned that the man was bloodied, breaking windows with a pipe and smashing at a school bus. He also went after another woman’s vehicle, where he attempted to break out a rear window with a pipe,” St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith said.
Smith says when approached by officers, the man hurled rocks at them the size of baseballs.
A customer inside the nearby Holiday Station told WCCO he witnessed it all.
“The passenger officer got out the vehicle told him to get down on the ground. He did not get down on the ground. The cop got a hold of him and he punched the officer,” the witness said.
He didn’t want WCCO to show his face or use his name, but says he gave a statement to police.
“For some reason or another, he gave up on the other officer he was throwing rocks at and charged directly toward the officer that ended up shooting. He got five feet away before the officer, ‘pop, pop, pop,'” the witness said.
The chief says investigators have talked with many witnesses.
“This wasn’t just…somebody that was just walking down the street throwing pebbles or rocks. This was someone who was very aggressive. I don’t know why at this point. He had our citizens very afraid. We were very lucky so citizens were not harmed as well,” Smith said
The two officers involved in the fatal shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, which is standard.
Again, the suspect has not been identified, and the name of the officer involved has not been released. What led up to the shooting is under investigation.