For a second consecutive night, police in St. Cloud used chemical irritants to disperse crowds that gathered in response to a Monday incident in which St. Cloud Police Department says an officer was shot in the hand during a struggle with an 18-year-old suspect.
A release issued by St. Cloud PD Tuesday afternoon says police responded to reports of multiple gunshots in the area of Ninth Ave. and University Dr. S. around 10:20 p.m. Monday – approximately 22 hours after the officer was shot. On arrival, people were running from the scene but no suspects or victims were found.
By 10:50 p.m., a crowd of around 200 people gathered and were blocking the street and throwing rocks at police officers and vehicles. Some members of the crowd then broke the glass to Southtown Liquors and began looting the store.
Officers deployed chemical irritants at one point during the night to break up a group.
In all, 40 people were arrested in connection unrest, including one person related to the burglary of the liquor store. There were also three dumpsters set on fire over the course of about four hours of what police called "unlawful assemblies."
It was the second night of unrest in the Granite City following an incident involving St. Cloud officers and an 18-year-old suspect just after midnight Monday. Police said the teenager resisted arrested and shot one of the arresting officers in the hand.
Police did not return fire.
The suspect, who suffered minor injuries, and injured officer were taken to St. Cloud Hospital for treatment. Charges have not yet been formally filed against the teen.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said lies on social media spread misinformation that police had fatally shot a teenager early Monday, which sparked the angry reaction from the public.
"It is abhorrent to me that within minutes the story that went out, went out. This place could've been on fire over a lie. Not just some misinformation, not just a few facts here and here. It was flat out untrue," Anderson said.