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College Guard Who Shot Himself, Blamed 'Black Man,' Released From Jail

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The security guard that claimed he was shot on the campus of St. Catherine University in St. Paul Tuesday night now says he made the story up.

Brent Ahlers, 25, admitted to police that he actually shot himself by accident and lied to cover it up.

A report of the shooting Tuesday night prompted the response of dozens of police officers, a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter and K-9 units. The campus went on lockdown.

Brent Ahlers
Brent Ahlers (credit: CBS)

"It had residents of the Mac-Groveland and Highland Park communities fearful that a suspect was on the loose and they could be victimized at any moment," said St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster.

Ahlers told police a day after the incident that he made up a shooter out of fear he would lose his job -- saying it was a black man in a hooded sweatshirt. He was not allowed to have a gun on campus.

Read More: St. Catherine Students Upset With Administration's Response To Shooting

Ahlers declined to comment to WCCO. He was booked into Ramsey County Jail for falsely reporting a crime, a misdemeanor, before being released. The case is now with the St. Paul Attorney's office to determine any further charges.

About 1,800 students were on lockdown during the manhunt for the false suspect.

St. Catherine University President ReBecca Roloff released this statement late Thursday afternoon:

I want to update the community on two aspects of the issues raised in connection with the St. Catherine University Department of Public Safety officer who falsely reported having been shot on campus Tuesday night.

First, as you know, Brent Ahlers was put on paid leave September 13 while the St. Paul Police conducted their investigation and the University completed a review of the facts. That status has now changed. He is no longer an employee of the University effective today, September 14.

Second, I want to be clear that St. Catherine University strongly condemns racial discrimination, racial stereotyping, and racial profiling of any kind. The statements attributed to the former employee concerning the race of an alleged suspect are deeply troubling and do not reflect our values.

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