The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified two St. Paul police officers involved in a shooting incident early Tuesday.
Arturo Lopez, who has been with police department for two years, fired at a fleeing stolen vehicle when it hit officer Mitchell Mountain, who has also been with the department for two years, the BCA said. Mountain suffered minor injuries in the incident. Both officers have been placed paid on administrative leave, standard in such cases.
According to authorities, the driver of the fleeing stolen car, was Salvador Tomas Torres Garza, 19, of St. Paul. Garza remains at large, the BCA said Friday in a news release. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on one count of felony assault against a police officer.
Police had been looking for Garza since he failed to appear in court on previous charges of auto theft and burglary, including thefts in June at the Minnesota Transportation Museum and Minuteman Auto Sales. Garza also is suspected of stealing cars from several other auto-related businesses.
The two officers spotted the Dodge Journey, which was stolen from one of the businesses, parked in an alley near the intersection of Winter Street and N. Capitol Boulevard about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
The officers approached Garza, who was in the vehicle, and one of the officers directed him to get out. But instead he accelerated rapidly, police said. Mountain was struck by the car and ended up on the hood before bouncing off.
Lopez then fired multiple rounds at the Journey as it sped away, police said. Police later found it abandoned on the 700 block of Prior Avenue. No blood was found inside the vehicle, indicating Garza was not hit, the original police complaint said.
The BCA said body camera video captured parts of the incident.
Staff writer Tim Harlow contributed to this report.