ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired Oct. 11, 2021
St. Paul police notched a small victory Monday in the battle to take guns off the city's streets after a search warrant led to the confiscation of eight firearms, one that had been converted into a fully automatic handgun.
Members of the city's Gun and Criminal Intelligence Units executed the warrant on a home in the 1500 block of Wilson Avenue East, looking for a 22-year-old suspect wanted in connection with a drive-by shooting, multiple vehicle thefts, fleeing police, assault and possessing a firearms without a permit.
The suspect was located and arrested, and officers confiscated the firearms, a cache of ammunition, two large bags of cannabis and keys to four rental vehicles. The weapons recovered are:
- Glock 19 handgun with an automatic switch (used to illegally convert the weapon into an automatic)
- Tegra AR-15
- Stolen Glock 42 handgun
- Glock 43x handgun (loaded)
- Glock 19 Gen 5 handgun
- Glock 19 handgun
- Springfield XD Elite handgun
- Ruger 5.7 handgun
Rising gun violence is a huge problem in St. Paul, as it is across the river in Minneapolis and in many other major cities across the U.S. Police responded to 2,444 calls of shots fired in 2021, and this year are already at 1,481 calls. The city recorded 38 homicides last year, and this year the total is at 22 with four months remaining in 2022.
In October of 2021 then-Police Chief Todd Axtell called out judges in Ramsey County following the 7th Street Truck Park shooting that killed one and injured 15. Axtell expressed frustration, saying the courts need to be tougher on felons busted for carrying guns that shouldn't be.
"We need to be more accountable to the victims and future victims than we are to the needs of somebody who decides and chooses to continue to carry a gun, who shouldn't be," Axtell said.
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