ST. PAUL, Minn. - A lockdown has been lifted and classes are underway as usual at St. Catherine University while police search for the suspect who shot an unarmed campus security officer.
St. Paul police say the security guard confronted a person on the St. Kate's campus around 9:30 Tuesday night in a wooded area, because it was unusual for someone to be there at that time of night. Police say the person, a male suspect, shot the officer suddenly in the shoulder.
SPPD investigating a shooting of security officer at St Kate's (2004 Randolph). Injury is non life threatening & investigation is ongoing.— St. Paul Police PIO (@sppdPIO) September 13, 2017
Police say the security officer was able to report the shooting himself. His injury is not life threatening. St. Kate's security guards do not carry guns, so the officer was unarmed.
At just after 10:30 p.m., St. Paul police announced to anyone in the woods that if they did not come out, a K-9 would be released.
At about 12:15 a.m., St. Kate's said in a tweet that police would begin conducting building-to-building searches.
UPDATE :: POLICE WILL BE CONDUCTING BUILDING TO BUILDING SEARCHES. PLEASE REMAIN INDOORS UNTIL THE ALL CLEAR IS GIVEN.— St. Kate's (@StKate) September 13, 2017
St. Paul Police say neighbors of the campus, which is located off of Randolph Avenue, have been providing tips and they encourage the public to keep doing so if they saw or heard anything. On Wednesday morning the University released a statement on the incident.
Last night, September 12, at approximately 9:25 p.m. there was a shooting of one of our public safety officers on campus in the woods near Cleveland Avenue. The officer suffered a wound to his shoulder, was seen and released at Regions Hospital, and is expected to make a full recovery.
The St. Paul Police Department placed the campus on lock-down while a campus-wide and building-to-building search was conducted. Public Safety and the President's Office communicated with the campus community via text messaging and email throughout this four-hour ordeal.
No one was apprehended and this remains an open and active investigation by the St. Paul PD.
Campus has resumed all activities. Students have been encouraged by President Becky Roloff and Provost Alan Silva to alert their faculty if they need accommodation for their academic schedule due to stress and disruption over the last 12 hours. Counselors are available.
The shooting victim is not a student -- he's a security guard employed by the University. His injury is to his shoulder - he was treated and released from the hospital -- and don't have any official details from police describing a possible suspect.
For students on campus at St. Kate's -- it was a frightning night.
"They said that we need to go in our room, shut the lights off, close the doors, lock the doors, shut the windows and just stay low," said freshman student Olivia Bien.
"It was kind of scary, so many thoughts go through your head, you really don't know what to think. You didn't know if he was still on campus," said fellow freshman Dani Stevens.
Now it's not clear what exactly police believe happened. Wednesday morning, St. Paul Police put out a Tweet emphasizing in caps that there is NO THREAT to Public safety.
The shooting allegedly happened on a walking path in a densely-wooded area behind a pond on campus. Detectives were back there again Wednesday to check it out.
Meantime some students are critical of the lack of information they received from the University during the lockdown.
"We started pushing out text messages, live safe alerts and other communication as soon as we understood what was going on in the campus community here," said Mark Johnson, VP of Safety Security and Facilities at St. Kate's.
Johnson says students have to opt-in to receive those text alerts.
"If they don't' sign up, it's hard to notify them," Johnson said.
But they're reviewing what they can do to improve the next time they have to deal with something like this, which very rarely happens in this neighborhood.
"It is very out of character for this university and this area," said Sgt. Mike Ernster with St. Paul Police.
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