Off-duty St. Paul officer fires shots at armed Walmart shoplifter

The St. Paul Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting and police chase outside the Walmart located at 1450 W. University Avenue. The officer and suspect were not injured.

According to officials, an off-duty St. Paul police officer working at the Walmart approached a suspected shoplifter in the entryway of the store. The suspect, James Frei, 34, of Tomah, Wis. pointed a weapon at the officer and fled on foot.

The officer pursued Frei through the parking lot until he got into a pickup truck and pointed the weapon at the officer again, at which point the officer fired his gun at Frei.

The suspect drove his vehicle onto University Avenue and was pursued by officers, Frei then crashed on the 1600 block of Edmund Avenue West, and was taken into custody after attempting to flee on foot.

The officer, Michael Tschida, is a five-year veteran of the department. Tschida is on a three-day administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

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