DPS News: BCA Identifies Officer in St. Paul Use-of-Force Incident

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Minnesota Department of Public Safety - Bureau of Criminal Apprehension news release


Bonney Bowman


Dec. 7, 2022


BCA Identifies Officer in St. Paul Use-of-Force Incident

ST. PAUL — The Ramsey County Medical Examiner has identified the man who died during a use-of-force incident that happened Dec. 5 in St. Paul. According to the medical examiner, Howard Peter Johnson, 24, of St. Paul, died of a gunshot wound.

The BCA has identified the St. Paul police officer who discharged his weapon during the incident.

  • Sgt. Cody Blanshan fired his department handgun. He has been a law enforcement officer for 10 years. He is on standard administrative leave.

St. Paul police responded to the area near the intersection of Earl Street and Hudson Road just after 6 p.m. on reports of a domestic assault. The caller reported the man, now identified as Johnson, was armed. Officers formed a perimeter. Meanwhile, a woman at a business on Hudson Road left the business and got into her car. She told BCA agents that as she started to pull away, Johnson approached her vehicle and was pointing a gun at her. Sgt. Blanshan and another St. Paul police officer were parked in a squad car nearby as part of the perimeter. Surveillance video shows the squad car striking Johnson in the back and side. The squad car pushed Johnson past and behind the other vehicle, knocking him to the ground. Johnson got up and the video appears to show an exchange of gunfire between him and Blanshan, during which Johnson was struck. He fell to the ground, dropping his gun. Officers then handcuffed him and gave medical aid until EMS arrived.

BCA crime scene personnel recovered a .45 caliber Glock Pistol and three .45 caliber bullet casings at the scene. They also recovered 10 9-millimeter cartridge casings, consistent with the department handgun Blanshan fired. There is surveillance, body camera and squad camera footage that captured portions of the incident. BCA agents are reviewing the video as part of the investigation. The BCA will release that video as part of the case file once the case is closed and fully adjudicated. The attorneys for the officers involved have informed the BCA they will provide written statements in the days to come.

The St. Paul Police Department asked the BCA to investigate the incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without recommendation to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office for review.