Roseville police officer shot in the face; suspect dies
A 53-year-old man with a history of mental health-related police calls opened fire in his Roseville neighborhood on Tuesday night, firing more than 100 rounds and shooting an officer in the face, the chief of the police said. Roseville Police, Erika Scheider.
The suspect, believed to be armed with a rifle, eluded police for an hour, peppering them with intermittent gunfire before police found him in a yard.
The police retaliated. The suspect was shot in the groin and died in hospital. Scheider said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension would release further details. She said the Roseville officers wore body cameras and the footage was turned over to the BCA.
The injured police officer remains hospitalized on Wednesday.
“Our officers are dedicated to serving as guardians of our community and preserving life whenever possible,” Scheider said. “Unfortunately our officers had to take deadly action last night to protect lives in the immediate area. This is not taken lightly.”
Scheider said neighbors called 911 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, reporting multiple shots fired in the 2900 block of West Owasso Boulevard near Brenner Avenue. A caller reported that a man fired a sniper rifle at houses in a residential area.
A chaotic scene
“When our officers arrived in the area, they immediately came under fire with continuous gunfire at the officers and their squad cars,” Scheider said. “Officers were unable to determine where the shots came from as the suspect had taken up a concealed position in a wooded residential area.”
Within the first few minutes, a Roseville officer was struck in the face by gunfire from the suspect, the chief said. Fellow officers dragged the injured officer to safety, loaded him into a team and drove him to hospital.
Scheider said residents were ordered to shelter in place while Roseville police and nearby police departments, including the Ramsey County Sheriff’s SWAT team, searched for the shooter. Scheider said the suspect was on the move and would intermittently open fire at officers and homes.
“Due to the wooded area, due to the weather, due to the darkness, the officers could not locate him, but they could hear and literally smell and see the shots fired at them and in front of them during this hour,” Scheider said. noted.
A Roseville officer located the suspect at 8:34 p.m. outside a house.
“The Roseville officer returned fire and the suspect sustained a significant groin injury,” Scheider said.
Scheider said the officer was in stable condition and was “a wonderful and well-respected officer.”
15 past calls for help
They did not release the name of the suspect or injured officer, who has been with the department for nearly three years. They also did not say whether a firearm had been recovered from the scene, which spanned three blocks.
The suspect has been involved in about 15 previous mental health-related calls to police, the chief said.
“Our thoughts are also with the suspect’s family this morning as they grieve and come to terms with their own loss,” Scheider said.
Multiple law enforcement agencies converged on the site, and authorities closed at least a half-mile of road around the scene. No other injuries were reported.
The neighborhood of mostly single-family homes is in the northeast corner of town. It’s a mix of older homes and newer million-dollar homes on the shores of Lake Owasso, which straddles the Roseville-Shoreview border.
“It was annoying”
Alex and Ellie Berner live in the neighborhood, which they describe as typically quiet and peaceful.
Alex Berner thought he heard fireworks on Tuesday night. When he started walking around the block to investigate, an officer told him it was gunfire. Ellie Berner grabbed their infant son and waited in the basement for 45 minutes while Alex stood guard upstairs. They could see the flashlights of the officers searching through the darkness and the rain. They saw an officer lying on his stomach in a neighbor’s driveway trying to avoid gunfire.
“It was disconcerting not knowing what was going on and not knowing what was going to happen,” Ellie Berner said. “We were ready to defend ourselves. »
They later saw authorities move the injured suspect. The Bernese say the suspect lived in the neighborhood but they did not know him.
One of their neighbors found more than a dozen casings in their driveway, the couple said. They also praised the police for quickly defusing the threat.
“They did a terrific job,” said Alex Berner.
Tribute to officers
“Listening to how things unfolded last night, I couldn’t be prouder of the bravery and courage shown by our officers,” Scheider said. “Knowing that innocent lives were at stake, they ran towards the threat and they did exactly what they were trained to do. All this knowing that their partner had just been hit by gunfire.”
Roseville Mayor Dan Roe also congratulated first responders called to the scene.
“We are all extremely grateful that, given the nature of the incident, more people were not injured,” Roe said in a written statement. “I am grateful to the Roseville Police and Fire Department, and all partner agencies, for their bravery and professionalism in extremely difficult circumstances. Today we are holding our injured officer and his family, along with the traumatized people in our community and the family and friends of the deceased suspect, in our hearts.”