Police executing a search warrant in St. Paul on Thursday fatally shot 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.
Officers arrested two women on suspicion of felony drug possession when the warrant was being executed on Charles Avenue near Milton Street.
Minneapolis police obtained the search warrant for a narcotics investigation, said Sgt. Catherine Michal, a Minneapolis police spokeswoman. Controlled substances and a firearm were located, according to a Minneapolis police report.
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 may 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, Michal said.
On Thursday, police arrested Molly Kaitlin Bruer, 33, who lives at the address that police were searching, and Lauren Lee Evans, 27, of Minneapolis. They have not been charged.