Charges: South St. Paul man pointed pellet gun at officers, prompting one to fire off a shot

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A man was shot at by South St. Paul police last week after pointing a pellet gun at two officers, charges allege.

Nobody was hurt in Friday night’s incident, which happened at an apartment building garage in the 200 block of Grand Avenue West, according to a criminal complaint charging 54-year-old Demetrious Roosevelt Royal with one count of felony threats of violence.

Demetrious Roosevelt Royal (Courtesy of the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office)

Royal, of South St. Paul, remained jailed Tuesday in lieu of $80,000 bail. Court records do not yet list an attorney for him.

According to Saturday’s police statement and Monday’s criminal complaint:

Officers responded to the apartment building about 10:15 p.m. after a woman requested help in removing someone from her home. She said she was outside, then disconnected the call.

Officers did not see anyone outside the apartment building, so they went inside and walked toward the garage entrance. When an officer opened the garage service door, he saw a man, later identified as Royal, pointing a handgun at him and another officer.

“The handgun had a red laser attached to it and it was pointed directly at the officers,” the complaint reads.

The officers ran out of the line of fire and slammed the door behind them. They took up positions of cover outside the garage.

About 30 seconds later, as the officers were airing the situation and requesting back-up, Royal emerged from the garage through the overhead door. One officer saw the red laser briefly pointed in his direction, prompting the officer to fire one shot in Royal’s direction. He was not struck.

Officers ordered Royal to drop the gun. He raised his hands above his head and hit the ground. While face down, Royal slid a black object across the ground toward the officers. It was later determined to be a battery-powered red laser device that can be attached to a firearm.

Agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal searched the garage and found a Co2-powered pellet handgun inside a storage tote, which was otherwise empty. The pellet handgun was capable of having a flashlight or laser attached to it.

In an interview with law enforcement, Royal admitted to having the laser but not the pellet gun, the complaint says.

A BCA spokesperson said Tuesday the incident remains under investigation and that the agency plans to release additional details this week.

Royal does not have a criminal history in Minnesota beyond traffic offenses, court records show.

In asking a judge for the bail amount, prosecutors disclosed that Royal has eight out-of-state criminal convictions going back to 1989, including assault-displaying a weapon, possession of a stolen vehicle, burglary, robbery and domestic assault.

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