ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul police are searching for the gunman in the city’s 27th homicide of the year. The shooting marks the deadliest year for the city in the past decade.
WCCO’s Reg Chapman has more on what police are doing to get ahead of the violence.
St. Paul police are working around the clock investigating shooting after shooting. This week alone, there have been three homicides in the city of St. Paul. The latest, in the Highland Park neighborhood on Davern Street.
Police found a man shot in the head, his wife, also shot but expected to survive.
“It’s kind of a domino effect a little bit, but it takes a lot of resources for us to deal with these kinds of scenes,” said Sgt. Mike Ernster.
Sgt. Mike Ernster says Chief Axtel’s five-step plan to address the violence is helping investigators who are stretched thin.
“Bringing in investigators from other units to focus on these high priority crimes that we have going on with our community,” Sgt. Ernster said.
Adding officers to each patrol district is leading to traffic stops, resulting in the confiscation of illegal guns.
“On the 23rd we took two guns off the street, the 24th we took one, the 25th we took at least two guns off the street,” explained Sgt. Ernster. “So out of these five guns in three days, it’s a testament to the officers getting out there boots on the ground type work.”
New technology from state and federal partners is helping St. Paul police match shell casings to guns.
That’s helping investigators arrest suspects in the city’s rising number of homicides.
“We’re trying to get ahead of this cycle of violence,” said Sgt. Ernster.
Officers are also canvassing neighborhoods where crime is a problem, asking people to tell what they know.
“We have received tips from the public that have resulted in recovery of firearms on the street and we want it to continue. We need to work together to help make our community safer,” added Sgt. Ernster.
Mayor Melvin Carter has scheduled three community meetings this month to discuss public safety.
He is also considering proposing a supplemental public safety budget to city council before it votes on next year’s city budget in December.