Man killed by police near day care pulled gun on officers, authorities say
RAMSEY, Minn. - A man was shot and killed while attempting to flee police investigating a suspicious vehicle parked outside a day care center Thursday in Ramsey, authorities said.
Anoka County sheriff’s Cmdr. Paul Sommer said the man was killed when he pulled a handgun and pointed it at two Ramsey officers who were chasing him.
Sommer said one or both officers fired at the man.
The man was taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, where he was pronounced dead. His identity was not released.
Authorities said employees of the Learning Lodge day care center had called police about 3 p.m to report that three men had been sitting in a car in the facility’s parking lot for 30 minutes.
Sommer said that when officers approached the car, one of the men got out and tried to run away.
Police did identify the officers involved in the shooting. Both were placed on administrative leave, which is common practice in officer-involved shootings.
The shooting occurred in the parking lot adjacent to the day care center.
“It was very close,” Sommer said. “He was running through the parking lot when the shooting took place. But no one at the day care was injured.”
The facility was placed on lockdown for 30 minutes, then children and employees were evacuated to a church across the street. Parents picked up their children there, and employees remained for questioning for a few more hours.
The employees declined media interviews as they left the church after 6:30 p.m.
Police took into custody the two other occupants of the vehicle. They were being questioned Thursday evening.
Investigators recovered a handgun that was believed to belong to the dead man, Sommer said. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was handling the investigation.
Sommer said police weren’t sure what the men were doing in the day care parking lot or if any of them have a connection to the center or its employees.
The day care center director said in an email statement that the children and Learning Lodge employees were all safe.
“The employees of The Learning Lodge did a fabulous job of being vigilant and keeping everyone safe,” Mikey Oman wrote. “I would like to thank the authorities for their help. I would also like to thank Pastor Matt of Independence Baptist Church (to which children and employees were evacuated) for all of his generosity.”
The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.