St. Paul police chief reportedly fires officer who shot naked, unarmed man

Chief Todd Axtell said the officer's use of force was not reasonable.
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A police officer who shot and wounded a naked, unarmed man in St. Paul at the weekend has been fired.

During a Tuesday press conference, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said he took "swift, decisive, and serious action" after reviewing the incident that happened Saturday evening and the associated bodycam footage.

While Axtell couldn't confirm the nature of this "action," the Star Tribune subsequently reported that the officer had been fired, which has been confirmed by KARE 11's Lou Raguse.

Axtell said: "When I ask myself if the officer's actions were reasonable and necessary, the only answer I can come up with is no."

The chief said that the incident happened during a "tense call" that involving more than a dozen officers, and a "person wanted for violent crimes" including sexual assault, aggravated assault, and kidnapping.

Police had been called on the report that a man had attacked his ex-girlfriend with a knife in a car that then crashed, with the suspect fleeing while naked and carrying a steak knife.

However, Axtell said "he wasn’t wearing clothing and he had no possessions" when he exited the dumpster.

The bodycam footage shows a woman officer addressing the suspect, telling him to "get out of the dumpster and get on the ground." As he comes out of the dumpster, the officer shots "don't run!"

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A series of shots were then fired, with the man suffering four gunshot wounds as well as a bite from a K-9 officer. He is recovering in Regions Hospital.

Police said on Saturday that before the shots were fired, officers had used Tasers and the K-9 officer in an attempt to stop him.

"As police officers, we have a duty to use force only when required," Axtell said.

Here is the bodycam footage: Warning, it contains upsetting scenes:

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