A St. Paul man in the city’s Como neighborhood struggled with an intruder over a rifle Thursday evening during an attempted home invasion robbery, police said.

No one was injured in the incident, although two rounds were fired as the 35-year-old homeowner and the suspect fought for control of the suspect’s rifle, said Sgt. Mike Ernster, a police spokesman.

There have been no arrests, and the incident remains under investigation.

“At this point, we’re trying to determine any motive for this incident, and it appears random,” Ernster said.

The incident occurred about 9:50 p.m. in the 1600 block of Maywood Street.

According to Ernster and a police report: a St. Paul couple and their two young children were home when the husband heard his wife scream from the kitchen, where she was washing dishes. The husband ran to check on her, and saw a strange man standing at the doorway to the kitchen in a breezeway that connected the home to the garage.

“I want the money,” the suspect allegedly yelled at the couple as he pointed a rifle at them.

The husband motioned to a drawer that he believed contained money, Ernster said.

“The suspect looked quickly and didn’t find any money, and became agitated,” Ernster said.

The husband grabbed the gun and a struggle ensued. Two shots were fired, one in the direction of the garage and another into a wall in the breezeway. No one was hurt.

The husband got control of the rifle at one point and struck the suspect with it, Ernster said.

The two men began fighting over the gun again, and the struggle moved out into the yard. The suspect tried to flee, and the husband tackled him, Ernster said.

The suspect regained control of the rifle and fled eastbound on California Avenue West.

“It was brief but intense,” Ernster said of the ordeal.

Two shell casings were recovered at the home. Police said that there have not been similar incidents reported in the area. The suspect is described as a black male with a thin build and facial hair, about 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-5 and wearing a white T-shirt and khaki pants. Police said he may have an injury to his head from the struggle.

Anyone with information about the incident can call police at 651-266-5650.


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