West St. Paul man sentenced to 17 years for shooting at officers

  • September 12, 2013 - 4:27 PM

A West St. Paul man was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison for shooting at two Inver Grove Heights police officers.

Justin T. Amick, 41, was convicted by a jury in Dakota County District Court in July of first- and second-degree assault and being an ineligible person in possession of a gun. The jury acquitted him of attempted murder and other charges of assault.

Amick was given credit for the almost year and a half he has spent in jail. He will have to complete two-thirds of the additional time before he is eligible for release.

According to court documents, two officers were sent to the 7500 block of River Road about 5 a.m. March 18, 2012, 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 in the passenger seat.

As both an officer and the man who reported the shots approached the car, the driver reached out the window and pointed 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 criminal complaint said. Neither officer returned fire for fear of hitting the woman 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 car in reverse and sped away. Amick was caught hiding in the woods near his home.

The two Inver Grove Heights officers involved in the incident will receive awards of honor for their work Friday from the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association.

Pat Pheifer

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