Slain North St. Paul police officer may have been shot by own gun

The North St. Paul police officer killed in the line of duty this week may have been shot with his own gun, according to a published report.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that a 34-year-old domestic assault suspect may have grabbed the gun during a struggle Monday morning, and shot Richard Crittenden before being killed by another officer.

Domestic violence calls are often volatile and unpredictable, according to officer Paul Schnell, a spokesman for the St. Paul Police department. Schnell said responding officers are trained to consider the various situations they may encounter, and that the situation can turn quickly perilous..

"It's not as though necessarily that officers are nonchalant or disregard the potential danger, but things can escalate," Schnell said. "Things can change in an instant. And that's what makes these calls so challenging and dangerous."

The state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting.

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