Watch CBS News

Ramsey County deputy hit by projectile after gunfire during chase, sheriff says

We are learning more about a shooting overnight involving a Ramsey County Deputy
We are learning more about a shooting overnight involving a Ramsey County Deputy 02:31

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Ramsey County deputy is expected to be OK after being hit by a "projectile" from gunfire during a chase in St. Paul late Friday night, according to Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

In a YouTube livestream, Fletcher said the suspect fired at Deputy Joe Kill with a long rifle during the chase, and a projectile went through the squad vehicle and hit his ballistic vest. 

The chase ended in the driveway of Jim Bicknell. 

" I heard probably like four or five gunshots I'm not sure. But as the officer got out, you could see him pulling off his vest and stuff and look and see where he got hit," Bicknell said. "You could see when the officers first got their buddy out of the car that they were pretty concerned with how he had been hurt, if he'd been injured badly. They pulled his vest off and everything and checked him over before the first responders even got here. So they were pretty concerned."

Bicknell says after the recent killing of first responders in Burnsville, this incident hit too close to home in more ways than one.

"For me, it's kind of scary to because my grandson is a first responder. He's a paramedic. And you know, he goes into these situations that you don't know what's gonna happen there. So you know, he says he always lets officers go in first," Bicknall said.

The St. Paul Police Department, which is leading the investigation to avoid conflict of interest, released more information Saturday morning.

At 10:45 p.m., officers with its department observed a dark-colored Honda Accord being driven recklessly at Payne Avenue and Jessamine Street. The motorist was seen driving at a high rate of speed and not stopping for stop signs, police said. 


The motorist fled when officers attempted a traffic stop. Officers did not pursue, but informed other officers in the area of the suspect vehicle. 

A deputy who was on patrol in the area — identified by the sheriff as Kill — located the motorist and also attempted a traffic stop.  When the motorist sped off, Kill began a pursuit, according to police. 

MORE NEWS: Wife of Fallen Burnsville Police Officer Paul Elmstrand recalls their incredible love story

As the pursuit traveled east on Euclid Street, the deputy reported that a passenger in the suspect vehicle fired gunshots at his vehicle during the pursuit. 

"The deputy believed something hit him when the shot was fired, and he stopped pursuing," police said. 

The deputy was treated at the scene and did not have apparent injuries, but was taken to an area hospital for evaluation and has since been released. 

The vehicle involved in the shooting was later found and impounded, but no arrests have been made.

According to Fletcher, a projectile penetrated the front hood of the deputy's vehicle near the driver's side and then passed through the dash — striking the deputy in his vest near his collar bone. 

"The deputy involved was struck by debris or possibly shrapnel from the bullets coming into his vehicle," SPPD said in a social media post. "His bullet resistant vest appeared to protected (sic) him and he had no apparent injury."

Two bullet casings were found at the scene. 

Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Association Executive Director Brian Peters released a statement Saturday morning.

"We're relieved the officer wasn't killed. This, once again, illustrates the severe danger posed to law enforcement in their duties to keep communities safe. The increased violence against law enforcement is at a crisis level: a war on police in Minnesota. 

"Law enforcement, who put their lives on the line every day to keep communities safe, deserve respect and support, not violence and hostility. 

"Public safety officials need help during this recruitment and retention crisis: community support, and resources to do their jobs effectively and safely. 

"Anti-police proposals only fuel the fire of the war on law and order. It's time for leaders to support law enforcement and stop providing aid and comfort to lawlessness."

This shooting comes about two weeks after three Burnsville first responders were shot and killed. A memorial for them was held earlier this week.

Anyone with information in the St. Paul shooting is asked to call investigators at 651-266-5650.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.