ST. PAUL, Minn. - Police officers in St. Paul and their counterparts in Minneapolis are on heightened alert after word surfaced that they may be targeted in retaliation for the killing of a drug suspect last week.
"The gist of it was that, in retaliation for this police shooting, they were going to kill a cop in St. Paul or Minneapolis," St. Paul City Councilman Dan Bostrom told KARE.
Plain-clothed officers shot and killed Victor Gaddy in his car last Wednesday on St. Paul's east side, as they tried to question him in connection with a drug investigation being conducted by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Officers said they opened fire after the 41-year-old Minneapolis resident tried to ram officers with his car. Gaddy, who had a long record of arrests and convictions, was linked by investigators to the Chicago-based street gang known as the Gangster Disciples.
Bostrom, who served on the St. Paul police force for 26 years, said there was credible evidence the Gangster Disciples would attempt to strike back.
"What evidently has been going on is there have been several unconnected sources, that have had the same information," Bostrom said.
"And when you get that you have to take it seriously. It's not the same rumor being passed around from one phone call to another. These are independent sources."
Both departments are limiting what they'll say on the record, not wanting to tip off potential attackers to their strategy for detecting attempted attacks.
Sgt. Paul Paulos of the St. Paul Police said, "We're trying to verify these threats, and we take all threats against police seriously."
Minneapolis Police spokesperson Sgt. Steve McCarty said police are looking into the threats after receiving good intelligence of an effort to retaliate against officers.
Bostrom was the sergeant in command the night that St. Paul officer Jim Sacket was murdered in an ambush-style shooting in 1970. He said threats by gangs, or those looking to prove themselves to a gang, have remained genuine hazards of police work for decades.
"These people can kill someone and then go have a beer and a hamburger. They have no remorse," he said.
The St. Paul Police Department is holding an "Eastside Police Community Forum" to discuss the Gaddy case, and another one in which police shot a suspect after he wounded an officer.
The meeting was held on Thursday night at Arlington Hills Lutheran Church in St. Paul.
The meeting addressed concerns about two unrelated shootings that occurred within hours of each other.
Just hours after Gaddy died, St. Paul officers shot and killed Chue Xiong after he fired on two officers. The wounded officer, Daniel King, is recovering.
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