The St. Paul police officer who fatally shot an armed man who rammed his police SUV on Sunday night has been identified.
Officer Steven Mattson, a rookie who has been with the department less than a year, shot and killed Ronald K. Davis, 31, at an intersection in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said Tuesday.
An autopsy by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner this week determined that Davis, of Little Canada, died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Mattson remains on paid administrative leave, as is standard protocol following police shootings.
Authorities said Mattson was stopped at the intersection of W. Thomas Avenue and N. Griggs Street just before 6 p.m. Sunday, when a vehicle rear-ended his squad car.
An altercation ensued shortly after both men exited their vehicles. Davis ignored repeated commands to drop a knife, the BCA said, and Mattson fired his gun.
Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators found a knife next to Davis' body, police said. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi's office will decide whether the officer should face charges once the investigation is complete.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter on Monday pushed for the expedited release of body-camera footage in the case, urging Chief Todd Axtell to make the video public "as soon as reasonably possible."
In a Facebook post hours after the shooting, Axtell said the officer involved was "faced with one of the most gut-wrenching situations imaginable."
Davis' death marks the 12th fatal officer-involved shooting in Minnesota so far this year — the second-highest number since 2000. The years 2015, 2016 and 2018 each saw 13 fatal officer-involved shootings, according to a Star Tribune database.
It comes as police grapple with what Axtell calls a stretch of unprecedented violence in the city. In response, he has mobilized his entire department and beefed up patrols on the streets.
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648