St. Paul Police ID Suspect Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting

Updated: 08/04/2014 11:17 PM By: Beth McDonough

The suspect killed in an officer-involved shooting after a carjacking Sunday has been identified by St. Paul police.

Twenty-year-old Yee Vang of St. Paul was fatally shot during the incident, which started around 4:30 p.m. when a car crashed into a fence near Jackson Street and Cook Avenue East, according to police spokesman Howie Padilla. Police received a call about a person with a gun.

It is unclear why the vehicle crashed.

Vang then took off from the scene of the crash, stole a bike from a bicyclist and was having trouble for some reason riding it, Padilla said. Vang then put the bike down and took an SUV with its occupants at gunpoint, Padilla said.

Officers later spotted the vehicle and tried to stop it near West Minnehaha Avenue and North Arundel Street in Frogtown. The SUV stopped and Vang jumped out of the rear driver's-side door and started firing immediately on police, according to Padilla. The officers returned fire and Vang was fatally wounded.

More than a dozen witnesses have been interviewed. The investigation is ongoing and there are several crime scenes.

"This is not the only incident in the last week in which officers have been assaulted. Taking a life is not something officers wake up in the morning looking to do," Padilla said.

The four officers involved are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure. They have been identified as officers Laura Finnegan, Dan Gleason, Shaun Fillowich and Jong Vang.

Finnegan and Gleason have both been with the department for 3 years each. Fillowich has 17 years of service and Yang has been with the department for 24 years.

Neighbor Chris Ellis helped a 14-year-old boy caught in the incident. It appears a bullet grazed the boy badly enough that he collapsed after running for safety in Ellis' garage. Ellis said he held the teen's hand until police arrived.

According to police, the teen suffered a non-life threatening injury and was being treated at Children's Hospital. Details of how he was injured were not yet available, according to police.

Crime statistics for St. Paul last year showed, when it comes to violent crime, there were 14 homicides in 2013, 218 rapes, 716 robberies and 1,252 aggravated assaults. In 2014, there have been seven homicides, so far.