Police executing a search warrant in St. Paul on Thursday shot and killed a dog after officers reported it charged at them. Soon after, police found a pipe bomb in the Frogtown home’s basement and evacuated surrounding residences as a precaution.
The St. Paul police bomb squad determined the pipe bomb was inert, according to Sgt. Mike Ernster, a St. Paul police spokesman. Police also found drugs and a firearm, according to a Minneapolis police report.
Officers arrested two women on suspicion of felony drug possession when the warrant was being executed on Charles Avenue near Milton Street, and prosecutors charged one of them Friday afternoon with possession of methamphetamine and cocaine.
Minneapolis police obtained search warrants after receiving information on Sunday that Molly K. Bruer, 33, and a 26-year-old man were distributing meth from Bruer’s residence in the 900 block of Charles Avenue, according to the criminal complaint against Bruer.
The St. Paul police SWAT team was assisting with the warrant. The department uses the team when warrants are being executed at places where weapons might be present, for situations involving people with gang affiliations and other circumstances that pose danger, Ernster said.
On Thursday, just after 4 p.m., the SWAT team approached the home and a woman appeared at the door with two dogs, Ernster said. Officers identified themselves and told her not to let the dogs into the yard, he said.
“She disregarded the officers’ commands and sent the dogs into the yard,” Ernster said Friday. “One of them, a pit bull, charged directly at officers.” An officer shot and killed the dog.
The other dog, an American bulldog, ran around the house and jumped into a SWAT vehicle, Ernster said. Officers shut the vehicle’s door to contain the bulldog and St. Paul Animal Control later arrived to get the dog.
The St. Paul police internal affairs unit reviews any instance of an officer shooting an animal, and determinations are made about whether it was justifiable, Ernster said.
St. Paul officers haven’t begun wearing body cameras yet. All patrol officers are slated to be outfitted with the cameras by the end of the year. Minneapolis police officers’ body cameras did not capture what happened with the dogs because no Minneapolis officers were involved in the initial entry into the house, according to a Minneapolis police spokeswoman.
While executing the search warrant Thursday, police found drugs in a bedroom in the home. Inside a printer on the floor were four baggies containing a white powdery substance — in presumptive tests, three of the bags tested positive for meth and one for cocaine.
There was suspected meth on top of a glass plate in the bedroom, and two digital scales in the kitchen had meth residue, the complaint said.
Bruer drove up while the search was being conducted and was taken into custody. Suspected meth was found in her purse, the complaint said.
Bruer told an investigator “she regularly uses a large quantity of methamphetamine” and said she was the only occupant of the bedroom where the drugs were found.
Police also arrested Lauren Lee Evans, 27, of Minneapolis, during the search of the home. A case against Evans had not been presented to Ramsey County prosecutors for charging consideration by Friday afternoon.