SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Two South St. Paul police officers are recovering Thursday night after being shot by a man they were investigating.
The officers responded to a home near 12th Avenue North and Congress Street at around 1 p.m. for a missing person’s call. While investigating, that man returned.
The Dakota County Sheriff described him as distraught, saying he got a shotgun and fired it at the officers.
One officer, an 11-year veteran, was shot in the shoulder and taken to the hospital. The other was hit in the leg. The sheriff says the officers returned fire, but did not hit the man.
He dropped the gun and surrendered.
“There’s a lot of questions to be answered. A lot of questions right now of what was in the suspect’s mind, what the officers did,” Sheriff Tim Leslie said.
Investigators are interviewing witnesses, and the sheriff expects the county attorney will charge the man with attempted murder.
WCCO’s Angela Davis spoke with neighbors near where the incident happened. Investigators were still on scene and collecting evidence Thursday night. Neighbors described hearing multiple gunshots just before 1 p.m. Some say they heard as many as 10 gunshots.
The shootings took place at a building for people struggling with mental illness. South St. Paul police say they were called to the home 110 times last year, and 62 times so far this year.
“I heard boom, boom, boom, boom, knew it was gunfire and threw my kid in the bathtub. I looked for my phone and could hear about eight bullets whistling through,” neighbor Dawn Zweber said.
“A guy who was delivering food to the building said that a guy was walking out of the building prior to him getting out and started shooting at the police,” neighbor Trish Buckingham said.
The man who shot the two officers was taken to the Dakota County Jail. The two officers hurt in the shooting will be OK. The names of the officers and the man involved in the shooting have not been released.
The incident remains under investigation.