Late-night gunfire leads to raid, arrests, seized guns

Neighbors help police pinpoint location of gunshots

In the early hours of June 17, residents on the 1600 block of McAfee Street were awakened by the sound of gunshots inside a home.

Nearby on White Bear Avenue, a St. Paul police officer heard the shots. Approaching the area, he was able to confirm what he’d heard with residents, who directed him to a specific home on the block, according to a statement from the St. Paul’s Eastern District Police Station.

Officers then began setting up a thorough perimeter around every side of the dwelling, in essence “freezing” the house, said Paul Paulos, spokesperson for the St. Paul Police Department.

Police located bullet casings, which served as evidence of shots fired, Paulos said. With help from the department’s gang unit, a search warrant was drafted, signed and executed at the home, a statement said. Police then entered the building.

They booked six adults, ranging in age from 18 to 45 years of age, into the Ramsey County Jail for gross misdemeanor reckless discharge of a firearm, according to a police report.

Neighbors said the shots happened in bursts over a period of 10 minutes. No one inside the house was injured.

Stolen weapons

Officers also seized two stolen guns -- an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a 357 revolver. The guns were reported stolen in North St. Paul and in Breezy Point, Minn.

The AR-15 was one of 10 guns stolen from a North St. Paul home on Christmas morning in 2002. The gun owner was a collector and had an additional 16 guns that were not stolen during the break-in, according to North St. Paul police. The guns were not locked up at the time and were stored in closets throughout the house.

Steve Ronnie from the North St. Paul Police Department said a gun theft involving this many guns was very uncommon. None of the other stolen guns, including two revolvers, a Tech-9 handgun, an AK-47, two shotguns and three other semi-automatic rifles, have been recovered, he added.

A nearby resident, who asked to remain anonymous, described the police department’s thorough approach on the McAfee Street house. He reported seeing 16 squad cars outside the home at one point, and seeing an officer lying on the hood of a police car equipped with a tripod-mounted rifle, driving slowly by the house.

Overall, he said the area just east of Lake Phalen is “usually a pretty quiet neighborhood.

“The police response makes me feel safer,” he added.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com.
 

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