Attempted-murder charges follow shots at 2 Inver Grove Heights officers

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 20, 2012 - 9:28 PM

Justin Amick, 39, fired twice at two Inver Grove Heights police officers Sunday morning.

Justin T. Amick

Photo: Dakota County jail,

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A West St. Paul man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at Inver Grove Heights police officers during a night of bizarre behavior that also included biting his brother on the cheek.

Justin T. Amick, 39, was being held in the Dakota County jail in lieu of $1 million bail. In an interview after his arrest, Amick didn't deny shooting at the officers but said he didn't remember it, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Dakota County District Court.

The complaint said two officers were sent to the 7500 block of River Road in Inver Grove Heights shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday after a resident reported hearing five gunshots. The officers found a car parked on the north side of 77th Street with a man in the driver's seat and a woman on the passenger side.

As the first officer approached the vehicle, he shouted several times for the man to show his hands. But as the man who reported hearing the gunshots walked up behind the vehicle, the driver reached out the window and aimed a handgun at the officer.

The officer heard a gunshot and saw the gun muzzle flash. As the officers ducked for cover, the second officer heard another shot, the complaint said. Neither officer returned fire for fear of hitting the passenger or the man near the vehicle.

The complaint said the officers repeatedly yelled for the driver to drop the gun. Eventually he threw the gun toward the first officer's squad car, put the vehicle in reverse and sped away.

A short time later, someone from the Amick home in West St. Paul called 911. When one of the officers who had been at the shooting scene responded, he found two men and two women sitting on the curb. The officers recognized one of the women as the passenger in the car on 77th Street. One of the men sitting on the curb, later identified as Justin Amick's brother, was bleeding from a bite wound to his cheek.

About that time, other officers found Justin Amick in woods near the home and arrested him.

The vehicle used in the earlier incident was found in the home's driveway with the driver's door open. A spent bullet casing was on the floor of the driver's side.

The Amick brothers' mother told police that the brothers had fought that morning and that Justin Amick had bitten his brother, then fled into the woods.

One of the officers who arrested Amick said he had said, "I'm so sorry for what I did," the complaint said. The officer also said Amick asked the officer to kill him.

The woman who was in the car with Amick was arrested, too. She was released Monday and is not being charged "at this time," said Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom.

Amick is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, second-degree assault and being an ineligible person in possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to next appear in court on May 8.

His criminal record includes two convictions for felony harassment, burglary, receiving stolen property, drug possession and numerous other crimes.

Pat Pheifer • 952-746-3284

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