An off-duty St. Paul police officer working at the Walmart at 1450 University Ave. on Sunday afternoon approached a suspected shoplifter in the entryway of the store. That's when the suspect pointed a weapon at the officer and took off on foot.
Officer Michael Tschida chased the suspect, James Frei, 34, of Tomah, Wis., through the parking lot until Frei got into a pickup truck. When Frei allegedly pointed the weapon at Tschida again, the 5-year veteran of the department fired his gun at Frei.
Frei then drove his pickup onto University Avenue and was pursued by police. He crashed on the 1600 block of Edmund Ave. W. and was caught after trying to flee on foot, police said.
Neither Tschida nor Frei were injured. Tschida was placed on three-day administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
A police spokesman said charges could be filed against Frei on Monday.