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St. Paul police investigators analyzed the scene at Wabasha and Plato, where a suspect allegedly involved in vandalism was shot and killed by police.

BRIAN PETERSON, Star Tribune

St. Paul investigators analyzed the scene at Wabasha Street and Plato Boulevard where a man was killed by police early Thursday.

Brian Peterson • brian.peterson@startribune.com,

Witness says slain suspect punched, charged at St. Paul cops

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET
  • Star Tribune staff writer
  • September 3, 2014 - 10:36 AM

St. Paul police identified Tuesday the man who was shot and killed by police last week in a confrontation on the West Side.

The man was Guillermo Canas, 36, of St. Paul.

There had been some confusion Tuesday between the police and the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office on his exact name, but officials believed that had been resolved.

Police said that two officers were confronted by Canas in the area of Plato Boulevard and Wabasha Street on the morning of Aug. 28, after authorities had received calls about him damaging vehicles.

Canas threw rocks at police, they said, and ignored their orders to stop before one of the officers shot him multiple times.

Last week, St. Paul police identified the officers involved as Mark Grundhauser and Joseph Sandquist. Sandquist fired on the man, police said. The officers, who were not injured during the incident, were put on standard leave.

One witness said that Canas was throwing rocks, punching an officer and charging at police.

The officers responded after authorities received a number of 911 calls from residents, some of whom were “absolutely frantic,” about a bloodied man who was breaking windows with a pipe and attacking a school bus, St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith said last week.

“I was sitting in the car reading the paper and he come up and started smashing my back window,” said one caller.

The caller added later, “Better get someone here. He’s gonna hurt somebody.”

One of the two officers retreated when the man raised a rock believed to be larger than a baseball as he approached, but when the man went toward the other officer, the second officer fired multiple shots, fatally wounding the man, Smith said.

“You don’t always have to have a firearm or a knife to hurt somebody. It can be a rock. It can be a pipe. It can be your hands and your fists,” Smith said.

nicole.norfleet@startribune.com • 612-673-4495

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