Duluth officer kills suspected armed robber

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 29, 2011 - 8:51 PM

The night after a drugstore heist, police chased the suspect in a stolen car that crashed into a residence.

A Duluth police officer shot and killed a suspected armed robber after the stolen car in which he was a passenger crashed into a house, authorities said Monday.

Police said the unidentified man commandeered the car Saturday after he robbed a Walgreens of prescription pills, telling a store employee, "I have nothing to lose anyway."

According to police, at about 10:25 p.m. Sunday, officers attempted to stop a stolen 2002 Infiniti driven by a 26-year-old woman. After a short pursuit, the car crashed into a residence at Dickson Street and 102nd Avenue W.

The suspect entered a nearby home. Two police officers went in after him and the suspect fired at them, police said. One officer shot back, killing the man.

The female driver was arrested, police said. A woman who lives in the home where the shooting took place was hit in the lower leg and is expected to survive. No officers were hurt.

Police have yet to release the suspect's name or say whose gunfire wounded the home's occupant.

The officer involved was put on paid administrative leave, standard under such circumstances.

The drugstore at 1301 E. Superior Street was held up around 7 p.m. Saturday, police said. Soon afterward, the suspect approached a man near a parked car about a block away and ordered him to turn over his keys.

The suspect got in the car and was joined by a woman before they drove off, police said.

Vince Spallacci told the Duluth News Tribune that he was sleeping in a recliner on Sunday night when he was awakened by the car hitting his home and gas meter.

"I saw all of the squad cars around the house and on the lawn, and I didn't know what happened," Spallacci told the newspaper. "I heard the crash, and then I smelled the gas."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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