MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A source tells WCCO the St. Paul police officer who shot a man Saturday night has been relieved of duty.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Tuesday that the shooting victim — 31-year-old Joseph Javonte Washington — is still being treated at St. Paul’s Regions Hospital. He has been charged by the Dakota County Attorney’s office with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping and one count of second-degree assault in connection to alleged crimes perpetrated in his Lakeville home several hours before he was shot.
Investigators said the vehicle Washington and his victim were in crashed just before 8 p.m. near the intersection of Rice Street and Maryland Avenue in St. Paul’s North End neighborhood. Investigators said Washington then broke into a nearby home. The homeowner called 911, and officers soon arrived to find Washington naked and hiding in a dumpster just after 9 p.m. on the 1000 block of Rice Street.
St. Paul police said officers tried to talk him out, and one deployed a PepperBall, which is an irritant similar to pepper spray. Washington then climbed out of the dumpster and ran towards the officers. The officers used Tasers and a K-9 officer in an effort to stop him, and then one officer — who a source says is Officer Anthony Dean — shot him at least twice.
The BCA said no weapons were found in the dumpster or where Washington was shot by the officer. No officers were hurt in the shooting. Some of the officers who used weapons during Saturday’s shooting were identified by the BCA:
- Officer Anthony Dean: Six-year SPPD veteran; deployed his handgun
- Officer Jacob Pederson: Six-year SPPD veteran; discharged his Taser
- Officer Colleen Rooney: Nine-year SPPD veteran; deployed her K-9 officer
An officer who deployed their Taser and another who discharged their PepperBall gun will be identified following interviews with the BCA.
All who were involved are on administrative leave, which is a standard procedure.
The BCA is leading the investigations into the St. Paul home break-in and shooting, while Lakeville police will investigate the alleged sexual assault and kidnapping.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said he had taken “swift” actions that are in the best interest of the community and department, but did not say at the time what actions he took due to the pending investigation.
“When I ask myself if the officer’s actions on Saturday night were reasonable or necessary, the only answer I can come up with is no,” Axtell said.
Axtell also showed 42 seconds of the incident captured by officer body camera footage.
“Lives have been altered. A person has been shot, the community is feeling the effects of an officer-involved shooting. An officer that has served honorably in the past has had his life changed forever,” Axtell said.
Robert Paule, the attorney for Officer Anthony Dean, released this statement Wednesday evening:
On November 28th, 2020, St. Paul Police Officer Dean assisted in the search for an individual suspected of committing a violent rape and kidnapping while armed with a knife. Following this sexual assault, the suspect burglarized an occupied dwelling and confronted the homeowner. Law enforcement located the suspect hiding in a dumpster.
Many attempts by law enforcement to de-escalate the situation using a variety of non-lethal methods were unsuccessful and the suspect did not cooperate. These attempts were not shown in the short body camera video just released. In efforts to add to the transparency of the situation, the following should be added to the description of the scene.
The suspect claimed to have a gun and threatened to use it against responding officers, saying, ‘I have a gun in here.’ The suspect also exited the dumpster and charged at the retreating police officers, even rounding a corner at them rather than attempting to escape.
At this point, Officer Dean was acting as a cover officer and discharged his firearm to protect his fellow officers and himself. The information he had at the scene was an understanding that the suspect claimed to have a gun and had used a knife earlier that evening in a violent assault and rape.
It is our hope the community withhold judgement of these actions until a complete and thorough investigation is completed.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said that the incident will be reviewed by outside agencies to avoid a conflict of interest.
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