A St. Paul police officer was recovering Saturday after being shot in the face with an air rifle Friday while he and another officer performed a welfare check on a man at a home in St. Paul’s North End.
Michael Talley, an 18-year veteran of the force, and Melissa Leistikow, a new recruit, went to the home on Lyton Place near the Oakland Cemetery in response to a call about 2 p.m.
The resident’s doctor had contacted police. Police had conducted multiple checks on the 53-year-old man within the past year, Sgt. Paul Paulos, a spokesman for the St. Paul police, said at a Friday news conference.
When the man came out with a knife in his hand, the officers were forced to retreat, Paulos said.
The man then went back into the house and fired something that hit Talley in the cheek, Paulos said. Initially, police weren’t sure if the man fired a pellet gun or an actual gun. After shooting, the suspect barricaded himself in the house.
On Saturday morning, police announced that the weapon used was a Benjamin Trail XL .25-caliber air rifle (or pellet gun) with a scope.
Eventually, after negotiating with police, the man surrendered without incident around 4:30 p.m., Paulos said. He’s being held at the Ramsey County jail.
Talley was being treated for noncritical injuries at Regions Hospital. Saturday morning, a police spokesperson said Talley was doing “well.”
The incident “tells you what kind of job we do every day,” Paulos said.
In a tweet on Friday, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said, “[M]y thoughts and prayers are with #SPPD officer as he recovers from injuries suffered this afternoon.”
Emma Nelson and Nicole Norfleet contributed to this report.