Murder suspect arrested in Roseville; wide subway warning accidentally sent

Updated at 12:45 p.m

Roseville Police said the murder suspect, who sparked a sweeping local protection order Tuesday morning, has been arrested. All Shelter-in-Place orders have been canceled as of approximately 11:30am

The alerts initially warned people not to take shelter without providing geographic information, causing confusion and concern across much of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Roseville Police later said the alarm helped officers arrest a 17-year-old boy suspected of assaulting his family, killing one person, seriously injuring two and leaving two others with minor injuries.

Alerts are sent over a period of approximately 40 minutes

Ramsey County emergency officials say the on-site alert, which lit cellphones across the area around 10:52 a.m., was broadcast to a larger area than intended.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter appears to have been the first official to offer more information on social media. At 11:03 a.m. he tweeted: “The incident occurred in Roseville near the Har Mar Mall and the news accidentally went further than intended. More information coming soon from the City of Roseville.”

A second 911 call sent to phones shortly after cleared the affected Roseville area. Authorities said a search was underway near the Har Mar Mall in Roseville and urged people to protect themselves from Larpenteur Avenue to Highway 36 and from Victoria Street to Snelling Avenue.

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A third telephone alert at around 11:30am reported that a suspect was in custody and on-site protection had been lifted.

Alert helped apprehend the suspect

In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Roseville Police Chief Erika Scheider said officers first responded to a call of a domestic assault near Lexington Avenue N and Roselawn Avenue W around 10:23 a.m.

The teenager was suspected of attacking family members in the area before running away, so police set up a perimeter and called in a Minnesota State Patrol plane and dogs to search the area.

Police asked Ramsey County Dispatch to send an alert only to the neighborhood within the perimeter, but Scheider said it was mistakenly sent to a much broader swath. However, she said someone outside the perimeter got the alarm, saw the suspect near the Minnesota State Fairground and called police, who responded to the area and arrested the teenager.

Although the mistakenly widespread police alert did help arrest the suspect, Scheider acknowledged it was troubling and said police will investigate what went wrong.

“We know this has caused a lot of concern so we will definitely investigate what happened and make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. We know schools have been locked down. People were really worried about getting that on their phones,” Scheider said.

At least one school district has been placed under lockdown over the alert. St. Paul Public Schools locked down all schools around 11 a.m. and lifted the lockdown for some schools until 11:15 a.m. and then for all schools at 11:25 a.m., according to a warning on its website.

More reporting will follow.

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