Police Officers in Metro Deal with 3 Violent Incidents in 5 Days

Updated: 08/07/2014 12:39 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

There have been three violent attacks on police officers in just five days in the Twin Cities metro. The incidents speak to the danger behind the badge.

The first was the shooting death of Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick last Wednesday.

On Monday, we learned more about two other incidents, including one where a gunman shot at officers Sunday afternoon.

There were new details released about a third incident involving the struggle for an officer's gun. On Monday, charges were filed against Anthony Nickson for terroristic threats and disarming an officer.

According to a criminal complaint, Nickson walked into the SuperAmerica store on Seventh Street in St. Paul on Saturday night with his arms up, and he said he wanted to go to jail. 

He's charged with taking the threat up a notch, allegedly telling an officer, "I am going to take your gun." After a struggle, the officer arrested Nickson.

Dave Titus with the St. Paul Police Federation said it was "a fight for his life."

Other lives were put in danger the very next day along Minnehaha Avenue West and Arundel Street.  Officers heard the warning on their radios: "This is going to be a carjacking."

Twenty-year-old Yee Vang wrecked his car by running into a cemetery fence, and is accused of stealing a bicycle, then carjacking an SUV with two hostages inside it at gunpoint.

"It's a traumatic situation for a lot of people," St. Paul Police Department Spokesman Howie Padilla said. 

Sarah Montgomery and her family live close enough to the carjacking scene they heard the shootout between Vang and officers attempting to stop him. Two officers were injured, and Vang was then fatally shot.

The four officers involved are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

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.

"With the officer killed last week, tensions are high," Montgomery said, referring to Officer Scott Patrick, who is the first Mendota Heights Police Officer killed in the line of duty. 

It's these kind of scary moments that make Montgomery, a St. Paul resident and neighborhood activist, shake her head.

"The real unfortunate thing is someone lost their life and now cops probably lost some credibility among the people who are otherwise distrustful of cops," she said.