2 arrested after Ramsey County deputy shot at during chase

St. Paul police announced the arrest of two people after a Ramsey County deputy was hurt earlier this month while being shot at during a chase.

On March 1, Deputy Joe Kill was pursuing a vehicle in St. Paul for reckless driving when a person inside fired shots at the deputy's squad. Deputy Kill wasn't shot but was struck by shrapnel in his vest. He is now undergoing physical therapy to recover from an impact wound. 

After the shooting, Sheriff Bob Fletcher said the deputy was doing okay but said, that if the shrapnel had hit "six inches higher… he would be dead."

After executing a search warrant in the 1000 block of Pacific Street on Wednesday, St. Paul police made an arrest in the Mar. 1 shooting that sent Ramsey County Deputy Joe Kill to the hospital.

The suspect arrested is a 20-year-old St. Paul man. His alleged accomplice, a 17-year-old boy behind the wheel, turned himself in to police, just after 9 a.m.

"The suspects involved have been getting younger and younger and younger," St. Paul Police Sergeant Mike Ernster said.

The shooting on Mar. 1 happened on Euclid Avenue. Police say the shooter leaned out the window of a car fleeing from police, to fire an assault rifle at police cars with their lights and sirens on.

Shrapnel pierced Deputy Kill’s vehicle and bulletproof vest. He was taken to the hospital for evaluation and continues to receive physical therapy, as of Wednesday.

St. Paul police chief Axel Henry acknowledges the assault rifle used in the shooting had the power to penetrate bulletproof vests.

"It’s a bellwether for us as community members. If you can shoot at a law-enforcement member, who’s clearly a police officer, you will literally shoot at anybody," Chief Henry said. "Our city will not stand for that, our community will not stand for that."

"Sadly, in our state over the last five years, we’ve seen over 150% increase on assaults of police officers. In our city alone, in the last 24 months, those numbers have increased by about 40%," Chief Henry added. "We’ve had officers shot in the line of duty, on our police department this year."

Sheriff Bob Fletcher's statement

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher released the following statement on Wednesday about the arrest: 

"We’re thankful for the excellent work done by the St. Paul Police Department and grateful for those who’ve reached out to check on Deputy Kill. We’re also counting our lucky stars that he wasn’t more seriously injured or worse.

"Society is tired of the chaos; you can’t race around town in a stolen car shooting at people. Unfortunately, some haven’t learned this lesson, whether from their parents, teachers, or the criminal justice system. So, gang conflicts cross the river. Then triggers get pulled, the innocent get gunned down, violent offenders get set free, and the law-abiding pay the price.

"It shouldn’t be controversial to support consequences for people who commit gun crimes. We need to get serious about holding people who try to kill accountable. This includes the suspect in Deputy Kill’s case, who is a suspect in two other shootings and shouldn’t have even been on the streets.

"There’s a thin line between good and evil, and it’s time we get back to respecting those who stand on that line, at the request of society, to keep us safe. That starts with swift and stiff consequences for the people pulling the triggers. We can find them, and we can arrest them. But if we can't hold them accountable, we’ll continue to see more of the same: chaos."