Apparent Exchange of Gunfire in Fatal St. Paul Police Shooting
The man who was shot by a veteran St. Paul police officer has been identified as 24-year-old Howard Johnson. The officer, who is on paid administrative leave, is Sergeant Cody Blanshan. He has been a law enforcement officer for 10 years.
The BCA’s preliminary report indicates Johnson was fatally shot by Sergeant Blanshan during an exchange of gunfire after St. Paul police responded to a report of a domestic assault involving a man with a gun around 6 PM Sunday evening. The responding officers had established a perimeter around the site of the reported assault when a woman left a business and a man approached her vehicle and pointed a gun at her as she was starting to drive away.
The report says Sergeant Blanshan and another St. Paul police officer were in a squad car parked nearby. A surveillance camera video shows the squad car struck Johnson and pushed him past the woman's vehicle and knocked him to the ground. The BCA says the video then appears to show an exchange of gunfire between Johnson and Blanshan before Johnson fell to the ground and dropped his gun.
A BCA crime scene team recovered a .45 caliber Glock pistol and three spent 45 caliber casings at the scene. They also recovered ten 9 mm shell casings that are consistent with the weapon fired by the officer.
The BCA says the video of the deadly incident will be released once the case is closed. The findings of the BCA investigation will be submitted to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for review.