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Sergeant Gunned Down In Ex-Con Ambush

Sergeant Gunned Down In Ex-Con Ambush

Stock Photo

Minneapolis Star Tribune via YellowBrix

May 02, 2010

MAPLEWOOD, MN – The St. Paul police officer stood alone on a shady street near Lake Phalen on Saturday morning, one of hundreds on high alert during a tense hunt for two ex-cons who three hours before had gunned down a Maplewood officer in cold blood.

When a young man emerged from the woods behind him carrying a metal toolbox, the officer approached to question him.

Suddenly, the man attacked the officer and the two grappled on the ground. The attacker straddled the officer and hit him over and over again, breaking his nose and possibly the bones around both eyes. Finally able to reach his weapon, the officer pulled the trigger several times.

The man suspected of killing Maplewood Sgt. Joseph Bergeron — an ex-con whose recent prison stint was for a double shooting — collapsed onto E. Ivy Avenue.

Louis Feider, who lives on Ivy Avenue, was just driving up with a friend.

“The cop had blood on his mustache and on his nose,” Feider said. "That’s when he raised his gun and fired. There must have been three or four shots and [the suspect] fell to the ground. There were sudden jerks, and then he just kind of went dead.

“I yelled at [the officer], ‘Are you OK?’ and he just looked at me in utter shock. He didn’t say anything.”

The day’s bloody events, involving hundreds of officers in a methodical manhunt that plunged residents east and south of Lake Phalen into fear and confusion, began at 6:45 a.m. At that time, Bergeron was fatally shot near English Street and Arlington Avenue, just south of St. Paul’s border with Maplewood, said St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington.

A man had called from an address in the 1300 block of Ripley Avenue in Maplewood to report that two young men had carjacked him near Interstate 35E and Larpenteur Avenue, and dropped him off on Ripley. When officers arrived about 6:40 a.m., they found the victim’s unoccupied vehicle.

Five minutes later, Bergeron was on Bruce Vento Trail near Arlington Avenue. There he spotted two men who matched the suspects’ descriptions. As he opened his squad car door, one of them walked up to the car and shot him, police said.

A jogger who had just passed by heard the shots, looked back and saw the suspects running away. The jogger ran back, saw that Bergeron had been wounded and used the officer’s car radio to call for help.

Bergeron was rushed to Regions Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The 49-year-old officer hadn’t originally been scheduled to work Saturday morning. He leaves behind a wife and 13-year-old twin daughters.

Maplewood Police Chief Dave Thomalla characterized the killing as a cold-blooded ambush.

“He was a very proud officer … and one of the finest people I know, and he was murdered today, senselessly,” Thomalla said.

A fight to the death

After being shot by the St. Paul officer just before 11 a.m., the first suspect, identified later as Jason John Jones, 21, lay dead on his back, one arm twisted beneath his body as police remained on guard for the second suspect, identified later as Joshua Michael Martin, 21.

Just seven weeks ago, Jones had walked out of St. Cloud prison after serving 27 months for first-degree aggravated robbery in which two people were shot, though an assault-with-a-dangerous-weapon charge was dropped in a plea bargain, according to police and public records. He was on supervised release, and the Corrections Department had him listed as a “Wanted Fugitive” on its website Saturday.

Police said he had an extensive criminal record as a juvenile, including robbery, stabbing a female, theft and alcohol and drug offenses.

A neighbor of Martin’s said he lived with his mother in the 600 block of Selby Avenue. Martin’s mother, Cindie Konobeck, declined to comment about her son other than to say, “He’s a very good boy” who grew up in St. Paul. His Facebook page says he graduated from St. Paul Central High School in 2007.

Police say he robbed a pizza delivery driver in West St. Paul in November 2007. His 10-year sentence for aggravated robbery was reduced to 227 days in the Dakota County jail, resulting in his release in October 2008. He is still on probation.

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  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    over 3 years ago

    2944 Comments

    RIP

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nick_garcia415

    almost 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    it's murdering criminals like these that inspire me to bust em. i cant wait to be in S.W.A.T.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JPESKY

    almost 4 years ago

    66 Comments

    HE'S A GOOD BOY....OK, SO A PERSON WHO HAS RESPECT FOR THE LAW AND FOR HUMANS, I GUESS IS AN A-HOLE...LADY, NOW I KNOW WHY YOUR DEMENTED SON IS THE WAY HE IS...YOU TOO SHOULD BE EUTHINIZED..

  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    almost 4 years ago

    1990 Comments

    R.I.P. to the officer, prayers and thoughts to family and friends.Sounds like a serious mistake on the courts side.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rgandi1

    almost 4 years ago

    66 Comments

    I love it when people say "he was a good kid" Theres a difference between saying you love your child and saying that your child was a good kid. Clearly martin wasnt a good kid if hes had all of those charges and would go to the length to kill a cop. My thoughts and prayers are with the fallen officers afamily and i hope that the other officer who was injured and killed the other ex-con has a speedy recovery.

  • Sw12_max50

    436

    almost 4 years ago

    574 Comments

    When will society have enough of this and put pressure on the system to hold people accountable for their actions. What a tragic loss!!!

  • John_groh_max50

    wiseass0282

    almost 4 years ago

    10986 Comments

    RIP Officer. This is another case of a dirtbag getting cut out of jail early by the Courts. He had a ten year seentence and serves only a little over 200 days. What a joke. Another dead LEO because the Courts can't do their jobs. The system sucks ! I wish we could sue Judges that make stupid rulings that result in people being killed.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Sig4Me

    almost 4 years ago

    10 Comments

    May god be with your family. Thank You for your service RIP Brother!

  • Wil_high_tight_max50

    wlobach

    almost 4 years ago

    146 Comments

    He is in Gods hands now, and may he rest in peace.

  • Advance_seal_max50

    P89Hydra

    almost 4 years ago

    740 Comments

    Good they got the POS

  • Super_troopers_max50

    mtty

    almost 4 years ago

    114 Comments

    I am from Detroit and we lost a good man there too, my question whatever happened to 3 strikes. It seems a lot of cops are getting killed by multiple felons. Both were ambushed.
    My training officer made it his business to know when criminals were being released, who knew their names and where they lived, Detroit is such a cesspool he would never have been able to! .

  • 1051193310_l_max50

    95Zcar

    almost 4 years ago

    3992 Comments

    Another Warrior goes to God; Blessings to his family, friends and co-workers

  • Cartmancop_max50

    MaineBP

    almost 4 years ago

    68 Comments

    RIP Sgt Bergeron, you will be missed. Nothing but love and support for his family and friends and all his fellow officers during this time.

    I hop the scumbag Prosecutor that let this sub-human plea down and walk amongst people again has not a peaceful night's sleep until he too is in his, or her grave. Once again the legal system has back-stabbed and let down an officer.

  • Nym50_max50

    southpore1

    almost 4 years ago

    156 Comments

    Sgt Joseph Bergeron rest in peace.

  • Ptsf_small_normal_max50

    dp224inva

    almost 4 years ago

    66 Comments

    Rest In Peace, Brother

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