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Man who shot Minneapolis police officer Jacob Spies gets 12-plus-year sentence

Man who shot police officer Jacob Spies sentenced to 12+ years
Man who shot police officer Jacob Spies sentenced to 12+ years 01:10

MINNEAPOLIS — The man who shot Minneapolis police officer Jacob Spies last summer was sentenced on Thursday to more than a decade in prison.

Frederick Leon Davis Jr., 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder for the shooting on Aug. 11, 2023.

Spies, driving in an unmarked squad car, was following an SUV allegedly tied to a robbery the previous day in Brooklyn Park.

Officer Jacob Spies WCCO

As Spies was traveling a block south of Webber Park in north Minneapolis, his car was ambushed by Davis, who fired a dozen rounds at him with an unregistered "ghost gun" equipped with an illegal device that essentially makes it a machine gun. Spies suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder.   

"I cannot say whether the suspects in the vehicle believed he was the police or believed he was someone else, but it was clear from what happened that they were trying to kill whoever was in that car," said Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara the day after the shooting.

Davis was arrested minutes later after the SUV he was in crashed while being pursued by police.

Spies, a seven-year department veteran, was released from the hospital a few hours after the shooting. Weeks after the attack, he was presented with the Minneapolis Police Department's Medal of Honor and its first-ever Purple Heart. At the ceremony, Spies' wife Holly said their daughter turned 12 just hours after the shooting.  

Frederick Davis Jr. HCSO

"She woke up that day feeling a little bleak, not really sure how to go about her day for her 12th birthday," Holly Spies said. "But at the end of the day, she said to me, 'Mom, I'm the luckiest girl in the world.'"

Spies spoke during Thursday's sentencing hearing, where he said he was glad he was the victim that night.

"It could have been a community member bringing their family home from the grocery store that just happened to be taking the same three or four turns that I took behind him," Spies said.

Davis was sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison with a credit for 279 days served.

A 19-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy were also arrested in connection to the shooting. The woman was initially charged with being an accomplice after the fact but the case against her was eventually dropped.

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