A number of U.S. states have passed some version of “stand your ground” laws allowing homeowners to protect their lives and property with lethal force if necessary upon encountering an intruder.
When a man living in St. Paul, Minnesota, fatally shot an individual who was allegedly trying to break into the home, however, both he and his wife were subsequently arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder.
SPPD officers are on scene of an overnight shooting on the 1300 block of Englewood Avenue where one person has died.
Watch here for updates and media availability. pic.twitter.com/zwuHAfRJ4A
— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) December 11, 2023
According to police, a 35-year-old woman called 911 early Monday to report a man on the front porch attempting to force his way in the front door. While she was still on the phone, her 30-year-old husband reportedly took the phone and informed dispatchers that he shot the subject multiple times.
Around the same time, police received a call from the individual on the porch, later identified as 35-year-old Drew Johnson. He informed authorities that he was dying but reports indicate he was unresponsive when asked follow-up questions.
“That call was from a cellphone and was determined to be from an area of the home,” said St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster.
Officers arrived at the location shortly thereafter and discovered Johnson on the porch. He was transported to an area hospital and was subsequently pronounced dead.
According to Ernster, several important questions remain unanswered regarding the circumstances of the shooting. Both homeowners reportedly refused to participate in a police interview, but the woman reportedly indicated in the initial 911 call that she knew the man who was attempting to break into their home.
Reports indicate they were arrested and booked into jail before they were subsequently released as prosecutors prepared the charges against them.
A police statement on the matter confirmed that detectives are “working to determine the circumstances that led to this shooting.”
St. Paul has been at the epicenter of a nationwide spike in crime dating back to riots that followed George Floyd’s death in neighboring Minneapolis more than three years ago. There were 40 homicides in the city last year, which represented a decrease over the previous year’s total.
For the second consecutive year, law enforcement officers gathered for a summit in July to discuss strategies for addressing crime in the Twin Cities metro area.
“We seem to at least be going the right direction with aggravated assaults and homicides, but we continue to see elevated levels of carjacking and car thefts,” said Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans.