By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police say an off-duty officer fired his gun at an armed shoplifting suspect Sunday afternoon as the suspect attempted to flee from a St. Paul Walmart.

The officer, who was working at the Walmart on University Avenue, approached the suspected shoplifter around 2:50 p.m.

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Police say the suspect, James Frei, 34, of Tomah, Wisconsin, pointed a weapon at the officer and then fled on foot into the parking lot.

Frei then got into a pickup truck and police say he pointed the weapon at the officer again.

The officer then shot at Frei, hitting the truck.

“I heard like, ‘pop, pop, pop; pop, pop, pop,’ or something similar,” William Bennett of St. Paul told WCCO. “Then I heard a bunch of screaming, so I knew something serious went on.

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Police chased Frei as he drove west on University Avenue.

About six blocks northwest of the Walmart, Frei crashed his car on the 1600 block of Edmund Avenue.

He was caught as he attempted to flee on foot.

The officer is a five-year veteran and has been placed on a standard three-day administrative leave.

Neither the officer nor Frei were injured in the incident.

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Kate Raddatz