A St. Paul man has pleaded guilty to shooting a police officer in the face with an air rifle during a “suicide by cop” standoff in January.
Robert S. Wood, 54, pleaded guilty Monday in Ramsey County District Court to first-degree assault against a peace officer for the attack on St. Paul police officer Michael Talley. As part of his plea deal, three other counts against him will be dismissed: first-degree assault-great bodily harm, second-degree assault-terroristic threats and attempted first-degree murder.
Wood used a Benjamin Trail XL .25-caliber air rifle to shoot Talley, who recovered from his injuries.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Wood: Talley and a police recruit went to Wood’s house on Lyton Place near the Oakland Cemetery on Jan. 2 for a welfare check. Wood’s girlfriend had alerted his psychiatrist that he was contemplating suicide.
The psychiatrist called police, warning them that Wood could be attempting “suicide by cop.”
When police arrived at Wood’s home about 2 p.m., he pushed his girlfriend out, exited the house several times holding a hunting knife and told police to “[expletive] off.”
The complaint said that Wood yelled at the cops, “Just shoot me and get this over with.”
Wood pointed the rifle at Talley and fired, striking him in the right cheek. He surrendered after 2½ hours and after stabbing a police dog, which was uninjured because the knife was still in its sheath.
Wood is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 13.