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Domestic violence calls among the most dangerous for officers, police say

Domestic violence can be dangerous, police say
Domestic violence can be dangerous, police say 01:37

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The shootout that killed a man and injured a St. Paul police officer on Thursday stemmed from a domestic violence call, which police say are some of the most dangerous calls an officer can deal with.

The St. Paul police union called Officer Michael Tschida a highly experienced veteran who "showed an unbelievable amount of bravery, skill, and mental toughness to save the lives of members of our community." Tschida shot Brandon Keys, 24, who died of a gunshot wound to the head on Friday morning.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Tschida was responding to an order of protection violation. 

"Our officers are asked to do an incredibly difficult job and they are thrust into situations that are often very unpredictable and extremely dangerous," said St. Paul Police Chief Axel Henry.

MORE NEWS: Man shot by St. Paul officer dies, identified as 24-year-old Brandon Keys

So far, the city has experienced six domestic homicides this year, according to Henry. Across the state, there have been 32 homicides related to domestic violence, according to Violence Free Minnesota.

Although Violence Free Minnesota agrees that officers are in danger when responding to domestic calls, they said those involved in the relationship are the most in danger.

In Minnesota, one in three women has been victim to some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. For men, the figure is one in four.

Violence Free Minnesota represents 90 programs statewide that have direct services connecting abuse survivors with advocates to help keep them safe.

MORE NEWS: Two suspects arrested in Eveleth assault and kidnapping case

"Ever since COVID, the pandemic, they have seen an increase in the severity of the abuse that the survivors there are experiencing," said Joe Shannon.

You don't have to be a victim or survivor of abuse to call the 24-hour statewide domestic violence hotline.

Advocates hope family and friends of abuse victims also use the number to help create a safety plan for their loved ones.

The Day One hotline for help in domestic situations 1-866-223-1111.

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