ST. PAUL, Minn. - Investigators are putting together a case that could lead to charges against a University of St. Thomas (UST) student who police say accidentally shot his roommate last Friday.
UST security and St. Paul Police squads were called to a dorm suite in Flynn Hall around 8:15 p.m. after reports of an accidental shooting. A police spokesman says a 22-year-old student from Hermantown who has a permit to carry was moving to secure his handgun inside a lock box when the weapon discharged. He told officers that he didn't think there was live ammo in the gun.
The bullet went through a wall into a common area, grazing the head of his roommate, a 22-year-old man from Maple Grove. Police called the wound "a graze," but UST officials later said he was taken to Regions Hospital and underwent surgery.
University of St. Thomas policy bans guns from residence halls even if a student has a permit. UST spokesperson Janet Swiecichowski says the incident is being handled by the University Student Conduct Board, which is "acting quickly and with due diligence." She says a message was sent out to students on Saturday assuring them that the suspect is not currently on campus. He will receive a hearing and review, and if found in violation consequences could include penalties "up to expulsion."
Swiecichowski adds that anecdotally, this appears to be the first incident involving discharge of a weapon on campus in St. Thomas history.
On the criminal side of things, St. Paul Police spokesman Steve Linders says charges of reckless discharge of a firearm are "quite possible."