Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Suspect in St. Paul Wal-Mart officer-involved shooting charged

Author:

An off-duty St. Paul police officer who confronted a shoplifting suspect at a local Wal-Mart had a gun pointed directly in his face before knocking it away and chasing after the fleeing suspect, according to charges filed Tuesday.

James Ryan Frei, a 34-year-old from Tomah, Wisconsin, is charged with second-degree assault, fleeing a police officer, and illegally possessing a firearm as a felon, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office announced.

The incident happened Sunday afternoon, at the Wal-Mart at 1450 University Ave. in St. Paul.

Frei, according to the charges, pointed a gun at the face of St. Paul police officer Michael Tschida when confronted about stealing an electronics item. Tschida, a five-year veteran of the force, slapped away the firearm and gave chase, then fired his service weapon at the vehicle Frei fled in.

Surveillance stills (like the one seen at left) were included in the criminal complaint.

Frei was arrested after a high-speed pursuit that ended with him crashing in a construction zone, the charges say.

Frei is due in court Tuesday.

There is a warrant out for his arrest out of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, for failing to appear on a motor vehicle theft charge. He has convictions out of Oklahoma (armed robbery, battery with a dangerous weapon and escape) and Wisconsin (burglary and escape).

The details of what happened

Here's a detailed look at what happened Sunday, according to the criminal complaint (click here to read it):

Frei was seen at the store picking up an item with a security wrap on it, and taking it into a changing room with a number of clothing items. When he left the room, he put the clothes on a folding table and began walking toward the exit. Inside the fitting room, asset protection officers found an empty bluetooth speaker box.

Tschida was called, and he made contact with Frei in the store's vestibule and ushered him back into the store. When Tschida suggested he go to the apprehension office, Frei turned his body away, pulled out a gun, then turned back toward Tschida, pointing the weapon inches from the officer's face.

Tschida hit the gun away, spun, and pulled out his own weapon – Frei fled to the parking lot where he quickly got into a pickup truck.

Tschida fired at the truck, hitting it several times.

Police began pursuing Frei; one officer said he saw Frei point a gun out the window at officers during the chase.

Frei sped through stop signs down Summit Avenue, but turned into a construction zone near St. Anthony Avenue and crashed his truck into a parked SUV.

He got out of the car and fled on foot, but lost a shoe, eventually fell and was arrested.

Officers found a 9mm handgun in the truck he'd been driving.

Next Up

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook suffered torn labrum, dislocated shoulder

Cook is now dealing with a dislocated shoulder and a torn labrum on both sides of his body, according to a report.

Tanner Morgan

Tanner Morgan returning to Gophers for 6th season

One Gophers QB has already entered the transfer portal.

Allina Health Richfield - 407 W 66th St, Richfield, Minnesota - June 2019 - CROP

Charges: Clinic locked down after man tried to enter, threatened passersby

Staff at the clinic suspected he was intoxicated, according to the complaint.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, November 29

The state's latest report includes data from the Thanksgiving break.

unsplash - woman sick coughing - CROP

Long COVID: Review of Mayo patients may provide new clues

The researchers summarized three "major novel findings" from the data.

Joe Biden

Biden's visit to MN will include stop at Dakota County Technical College

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed earlier this month.

Brooklyn Center police

Victim of 'accidental' shooting ID'd as 23-year-old Duluth woman

The 23-year-old died three days after being shot while sitting in a parked vehicle.

ambulance

Motorist dead after crashing into utility pole in south Minneapolis

The crash happened Saturday night in the South Uptown neighborhood.

police lights

St. Cloud mother arrested after 3-month-old baby found dead

Officers discovered the baby during a welfare check Sunday.

Merwin Liquors Mounds View

Police shoot, kill man inside Mounds View liquor store

It follows an alleged armed carjacking outside a nearby Aldi.

Related