Minn. officer killed in ambush, manhunt ends for suspects

Sgt. Joseph Bergeron was shot while responding to a carjacking


Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A suburban St. Paul police officer was killed during an ambush Saturday, setting off a massive manhunt that ended with one suspect dead and another in custody, authorities said.

Maplewood Police Sgt. Joseph Bergeron, 49, was fatally shot while responding to a reported carjacking early Saturday morning.

A jogger on a nearby trail heard the shot that killed Bergeron, a married father of two and a 26-year police veteran, and turned back around to see two suspects fleeing. The jogger used the officer's radio to call for help, and the carjacking victim warned police that at least one of the suspects was armed, police said.

"We're all grieving," Maplewood Chief David Thomalla said. "He's one of the finest people I know, and he was murdered today senselessly."

The attack set off an hours-long search by more than 100 officers from over a dozen law enforcement agencies. Officers brandished automatic rifles and police helicopters circled overhead as they searched a wooded area and neighborhoods east of Lake Phalen, near the shooting scene.

Nearly four hours after the shooting, a man darted out of the woods holding a toolbox and an officer tried to question him. The two scuffled, and authorities said the officer shot the man multiple times.

Police said the 21-year-old man was one of the shooting suspects, but his name hasn't been released.

The officer suffered a broken nose and possibly a fractured eye socket, St. Paul police chief John Harrington said. His name hasn't been released, which Harrington said is standard in an officer-involved shooting.

About two hours later, police closed in on the second suspect at a nearby apartment near the border of St. Paul and Maplewood, in a middle class, blue-collar neighborhood dotted with small storefronts and well-established older homes.

The man threatened and tried to commit suicide, but was taken into custody with non-life threatening injuries, authorities said. His name and what charges he faces have not been released.

Bergeron was the 17th officer to die in the line of duty in the state since 2000, according to the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association.

He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

"We will miss him. We will miss him terribly," Thomalla said.

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