Charges: St. Paul man shot suspected car thief as he was 'retreating'

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Vincent Trotter, 36, of St. Paul, Minnesota is charged with second-degree assault for allegedly shooting a suspected car thief on his property who was seen "retreating" in a surveillance video. (Photo credit: Ramsey County Jail) 

A St. Paul, Minnesota man who shot an alleged car thief who was on his property has been charged, and the incident was all captured by the man’s surveillance camera.

Vincent Trotter, 36, was charged Wednesday with one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. 

According to the charges, Trotter pulled his car into his parking space behind his home on the 600 block of East Cook Avenue to find the alleged car thief, who police say had just fled the scene of a car chase and crash, sitting on his porch.

The suspect walked down from the porch towards Trotter before turning and beginning to walk away. The surveillance footage then shows Trotter firing at the man.

“It is clear from the video that [the suspect] was retreating away from Trotter as Trotter fired his handgun," the charges say. 

Officers arrived on scene to find Trotter holding his handgun. He followed officers’ commands and placed the gun on the ground.

When questioned by police, Trotter said, “I told him don’t move, he moves and I let three or four rounds go. I see blood, so I think I hit him. I tried to hit him. I carry a .45.”

Police recovered a Sig Sauer P250 .45 caliber gun, a holster and six spent shell casings from the scene. Trotter has a valid conceal and carry permit.

Trotter was then taken to police headquarters. 

According to St. Paul police, the whole incident started when officers attempted to stop a vehicle that was driving recklessly. The vehicle, which they later discovered was stolen, fled from the officers and they lost sight of it. 

The stolen vehicle crashed into another car at the intersection of Payne Avenue and Jenks Avenue East. The occupants of the stolen vehicle reportedly fled form the scene into the surrounding neighborhood. 

As officers began to search the area, they heard gunshots, which is when they encountered Trotter and the man he had allegedly just shot, who police identified as the driver of the stolen vehicle. The driver was wanted in St. Paul for an unrelated auto theft.