ST. PAUL -- Multiple shots-fired incidents across St. Paul Wednesday night, June 17, and early Thursday morning, June 18, made for a dangerous environment for police and residents.
A man and woman were injured, another ran from police and crashed his car, property was damaged and in one incident 57 shell casings were recovered, according to police. In all, no one was killed.
“We feel like we got lucky last night -- it could have been much, much worse,” said St. Paul Police Department spokesman Steve Linders. “Our message to the community is this: We need your help. Call us if you know who is illegally possessing guns in the city. Call us if you know who is illegally carrying guns around the city. Call us if you know who is firing off rounds in our city. It could save a life.”
Here’s a roundup of the incidents:
Leonard Lester Slaughter, 33, of Roseville, was taken into custody after police say he shot at several people and ran from police.
At 5:20 p.m. Wednesday, officers were dispatched to the 2000 block of Suburban Avenue for a report of an assault. Multiple callers said a man was seen running up the street with a gun, shooting at people. Witnesses described the vehicle he left the scene in and police caught up with him westbound on Interstate 94.
A chase ensued and police say Slaughter drove recklessly around other vehicles at a high rate of speed, swerving off the road and kicking up dirt and debris. He exited the interstate to U.S. Highway 61, drove through an intersection and hit two cars at Etna Street and Wilson Avenue.
He left the vehicle and took off on foot, gun in hand, according to police. Slaughter ran into a building, then out again and into a group of people who started yelling that he had a gun. At this point, he stopped and surrendered to authorities, police said.
Later that evening at 7:50 p.m. officers responded to a call in the 1000 block of Western Avenue North of people running through yards and shooting. Officers checked the area and found no one injured or suspects, but did find evidence of shots fired.
At 11:15 p.m. officers were called to the intersection of Bush Avenue and Van Dyke Street on a report of shots fired. While officers were processing the scene, a man showed up at Regions Hospital with a gunshot wound to his calf. Shortly after, a female arrived at Regions with a gunshot wound to her shoulder. Officers confirmed they were from the incident at Bush and VanDyke. Neither is cooperating with the investigation.
At 12:53 a.m. officers were called to the 1000 block of Hudson Road on reports of shots fired. When they arrived, they found 57 shell casings and three live rounds lying in the street. Suspects had left the scene.
At 1:06 a.m. officers were called to the 100 block of Bigelow Lane on a report of shots fired and a man down. When they arrived, they found shell casings and bullet holes in a Lexus and a townhome, but no one injured.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell called on city residents to help stem the gun violence.
“We’re all in this together,” he said. “Sure, our officers are out there, putting themselves in danger, providing exceptional service and dealing with incredibly challenging circumstances, but they can’t do it alone. Every time someone pulls the trigger in our city, the sound of gunshots reverberates down streets, through neighborhoods and into homes. Let’s all work together to protect one another. Call us.”
There have been 16 homicides in St. Paul in 2020. In 2019, at this time, there had been 10.