A school in Roseville was locked down briefly on Wednesday after the owner of a liquor store across the street fired shots at some robbery suspects.
The robbery happened just before noon at the liquor store, which is located in a strip mall across the street from Parkview Center School.
Roseville Police Lt. Loren Rosand said the suspects stole money and fled in a vehicle. The owner followed them outside and fired several shots, apparently in the direction of a park next to the school, Rosand said.
Rosand said Ramsey County officials will decide whether the owner of Roseville Liquors will face any charges.
"If someone's life is being threatened, the use of deadly force is justified," Rosand said. "But in a situation such as this, probably not."
The Ramsey County Attorney's Office declined to comment on any possible charges, but the incident raised questions about school safety.
While most schools complete a vulnerability assessment that includes an analysis of the building's surroundings, experts say whether a home or business owner keeps a gun is not likely part of the assessment.
"I think that's probably not on most people's radar is to consider whether or not they may be armed there," said Mike Siitari, director of the Minnesota School Safety Center. "You can't plan for everything."
Siitari said the best thing is for schools to be prepared to respond to whatever threat comes their way.
"Then you do have your universal procedures if something does happen. You've got your lockdown, and you can take your steps and you've practiced those," he said.
Schools spokeswoman Karen Schaub said 7th and 8th graders were outside taking a break from standardized testing at the time of the incident. The teacher with them heard the shots, hustled the kids into the building and called police.
A group of 2nd and 3rd graders were also outside, but on the other side of the school. Schaub said the group didn't hear the shooting but was also called in. The school was under a full lockdown for about 10 minutes starting at about noon.
Schaub said teachers kept students in classrooms with doors secured.
(MPR reporter Mark Zdechlik contributed to this report.)