Update: St. Catherine security guard actually shot himself, police say

Police now say the security officer actually shot himself.

The hourslong search for a "hostile" gunman that shot a security officer on the St. Catherine University campus turned up no suspects.

Turns out, that's because the officer actually shot himself.

Students on the St. Kate's campus were told to stay inside for hours Tuesday night after a security officer told police he was shot by someone in a wooded area on campus.

But the search for a suspect – which included 55 police officers, four canines and a Minnesota State Patrol aircraft, the St. Paul Police Department said – didn't turn up a gunman.

The security officer, 25-year-old Brent Ahlers, was taken to the hospital for a shoulder wound and released.

Nearly 24 hours after the shooting, Ahlers was arrested.

What happened

According to the St. Paul Police Department, Ahlers made up the story about a shooter. 

He admitted to investigators he was handling his own personal gun at the time when it accidentally fired, hitting him in the shoulder, according to police.

He called 911, and later told police he concocted the story about a shooter in the woods because he was scared about losing his job.

St. Kate's president responds

St. Catherine President Becky Roloff said in an update security personnel on campus are not given guns, and reiterated that the campus strictly prohibits weapons. 

Ahlers has been with the St. Catherine Department of Public Safety for 15 months, Roloff said, and has no reports of misconduct. He was put through a background checked, and has an associate law degree in law enforcement, in addition to completing training, she added. 

"While we are distressed and saddened that this incident occurred, we are relieved that no other members of the community were injured," she said.

Ahlers was placed on leave by the university. He was taken to Ramsey County jail and accused of falsely reporting a crime, which is a misdemeanor for a first offense.

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