By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota is now helping coordinate the fight against violence in St. Paul.

Last year in St. Paul, the number of people killed by homicide was 15. And so far this year, it’s almost double that with 28.

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U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald met with local, state and federal law enforcement Thursday to get plans in motion. Her meeting was held while hundreds met to discuss violence in St. Paul at the first of three meetings scheduled by Mayor Melvin Carter.

“The bulk of the conversation focused on what we can bring to the table as far as resources to help Chief [Todd] Axtell and this fight that he has on his hands,” MacDonald said. “Each one of our partners has different resources to dedicate whether it be personal or intelligence or evidence gathering and processing and each has offered that up.”

U.S. Attorney Erica McDonald (credit: CBS)

The St. Paul Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will take its crime gun intelligence and focus on the violent offenders who are committing these shootings. The FBI will be sending some personnel and assets to also help St. Paul police.

MacDonald says her office will also work closely with the Ramsey County Attorney’s office.

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“On a prosecutorial level, what we are going to do when these cases come in because we expect that we are going to be prosecuting a number of individuals, the small number of individuals responsible for the bulk of the crime,” MacDonald said.

The group will focus on three components to effective gun violence reduction: law enforcement, treatment and prevention.

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“Do not be afraid to call law enforcement. When you see something, say something,” MacDonald said. “When it comes to treatment and prevention, we need to get these kids at a younger age so we can get them out of the life of gangs into productive health pro-social life. And I think that all community members can think about in their walk of life what can they do to reach out in their community to reach out to kids and create opportunity.”

MacDonald hopes to bring every available resource to stop the violence.

Mayor Carter is considering the addition of a public safety spending proposal to St. Paul’s 2020 budget. The city council is expected to vote on the budget in December.

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An Interactive Map Of St. Paul Fatal Shootings In 2019

Reg Chapman