St. Catherine University security guard said nonexistent shooter was black

Police say he actually shot himself in the shoulder.
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The security officer who police say made up a story about a gunman on campus to hide the fact that he accidentally shot himself has been fired.

St. Catherine University President Becky Roloff said Thursday that Brent Ahlers is no longer a St. Kate's employee as of Sept. 14.

Ahlers, who is 25, was put on administrative leave on Sept. 13, after he'd been shot in the shoulder the night before. Dozens of officers and a helicopter responded to the St. Paul campus after he reported a gunman, but the search turned up nothing.

Ahlers said the nonexistent shooter was a black man

Ahler's story about the shooter, at least the one police say they were told, is also being scrutinized. 

He described the gunman to St. Paul police as a black male, a spokesperson for SPPD confirmed to GoMN.

But police "did not have confidence" in the description, so didn't release it publicly, the spokesperson added. And Wednesday night police said Ahlers had been arrested, after he admitted to accidentally shooting himself with his own gun.

He was cited for falsely reporting a crime, which is a misdemeanor.

Laura Pietan with the St. Paul City Attorney's Office told GoMN they got the police reports and the case is currently under review. A court date was automatically set for Oct. 31, and the attorney's office will use that time to go over the evidence and make a charging decision, she said.

Roloff: St. Kate's 'strongly condemns racial discrimination'

The nonexistent black gunman story has led to some calls for St. Catherine University to look at diversity in its hiring practices, with others using it as an example of systemic racism and prejudice

Roloff responded to the fake description, as well as the broader beliefs of St. Kate's, writing:

"I want to be clear that St. Catherine University strongly condemns racial discrimination, racial stereotyping, and racial profiling of any kind. The statements attributed to the former employee concerning the race of an alleged suspect are deeply troubling and do not reflect our values."

The university has an undergrad enrollment of about 4,800, with about one-third described as "multicultural."

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