What started with a Maplewood carjacking at gunpoint just after 8 a.m. Monday ended about an hour later in an upscale Cottage Grove neighborhood with the suspect dead in an officer involved shooting following another carjacking and a home invasion by the suspect as he attempted to evade police.
The Cottage Grove Dept. of Public Safety director Pete Koerner provided an outline of events during a midday press conference in which he described what began with a carjacking at gunpoint in Maplewood where the suspect demanded a ride to St. Paul. Koerner then said that St. Paul police were subsequently dispatched to a “very serious crime” in their jurisdiction, which was not detailed by Koerner, but a WCCO report said that the victim was forced to drive to her home where she was sexually assaulted by the suspect.
Koerner said that the suspect then went to Cottage Grove and used a handgun to steal a vehicle from a resident around 8:30 a.m. in the Hidden Valley neighborhood near 70th Street South and Hardwood Avenue South. The suspect, who has not yet been identified, then entered a home around 9 a.m. and took several people from one family hostage. The WCCO report states that the suspect pointed his gun at the victims’ heads multiple times before the hostages were able to escape as the suspect fled from the garage in their vehicle.
The suspect crashed the vehicle shortly thereafter and fled on foot. Koerner said the suspect was armed with a handgun as he encountered officers from several jurisdictions. A Cottage Grove officer and an officer from a neighboring agency fired their service weapons at the suspect, and the suspect was reported as deceased at the scene.
Several minutes of recorded police dispatch audio subsequently posted online captured some of the events as they unfolded in Cottage Grove prior to home invasion and through to the apparent shooting of the suspect by police. The suspect was described in the audio as a black male in a red hoodie who was observed with a gun and running through Oakwood Park prior to the home invasion. Law enforcement then aired that they observed the suspect kick in the door of a home and take a possible hostage. Responders subsequently aired that the residents were out of the house and that the suspect was reportedly in the garage. Officers aired that the suspect fled the garage in a truck and shortly thereafter an officer can be heard shouting “shots fired, shots fired.”
Koerner said that police believed that the suspect had acted alone and that residents were no longer in danger, and that further information about the investigation would be handled by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
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