A security officer at St. Catherine University in St. Paul initially told police that a stranger on campus shot him Tuesday night. The school went into lockdown as 55 police officers, four K-9s and State Patrol aircraft searched for a male shooter in navy blue sweatshirt and black jeans.
But, they were searching for a non-existent suspect. On Wednesday, security officer 25-year-old Brent Patrick Ahlers, admitted that he accidentally shot himself and then lied about it because he was afraid of losing his job, according to the Star Tribune.
Police said that Ahlers brought his personal handgun to work, something he wasn’t supposed to do. According to NBC affiliate Kare11, guards at St. Catherine University are unarmed. After the shooting, Ahlers was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries to his shoulder.
Students were rightfully freaked out.
Freshman Ahna Boe told a local CBS station, “I definitely don’t think I’ll be walking outside after dark anymore."
"Last night I was talking to you about an incident that shocked the community," Sgt. Mike Ernster said at a news conference Wednesday. "It had basically 1,800 students held captive in their dorm rooms at St. Catherine's, it had residents of the Mac-Groveland and Highland Park communities fearing they would be hurt in their homes."
Ernster went on to say that Ahlers was nervous about losing his job. “So, he made up the story to cover up what had happened,” he explained.
Ahlers was arrested Wednesday and has been charged with filing a false police report.
[Photo: Saint Paul Police]