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May 6, 2005
St. Paul Mourns The Loss Of A Hero

The city of St. Paul lost one of its heroes early this morning when Sgt. Gerald Vick, a two-time Medal of Valor recipient, died in a hail of gunfire while protecting the citizens of our state's capitol. Police have two suspects in custody:

Police said Antonio Alexander Kelly, 27, and Harry Jerome Evans, 32, were being held on probable cause in the shooting of Sgt. Jerry Vick, which happened across the street from Erick's bar about 2:20 a.m.

St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington announced the arrests at 12:10 p.m., saying Kelly was arrested at 3:30 a.m. and Evans was arrested at 10:15 a.m. Evans was covered with mud and appeared to have been hiding.

Vick, a member of the department's vice squad, was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Harrington said. Vick had been shot in an alley near 7th and Forest Streets after exchanging shots with two men around 2:20 a.m. The gunmen fled on foot. ...

Apparently, the two suspects were hanging around the bar around 2 a.m., stopping to talk with people, possibly as a prelude to robbing them, authorities said.

Vick and Strong talked with the men and told them to move along. The officers then separated and each went to his own car. When Vick encountered the men near his car, they exchanged a few words before the men reportedly pulled guns and fired several shots at Vick, who was hit several times; Strong returned fire but apparently missed the suspects, who fled on foot.

Any murder of a police officer deals a blow to our community, but in this case it seems particularly cruel. Gerald Vick was one of the men we'd all like protecting us -- brave, caring, and dedicated. Here's the Star-Tribune's description of his service to Minnesotans:

Vick was a well known and highly respected officer, Harrington said.

"Jerry loved what he was doing. Being a cop was phenomenal for Jerry," Harrington said. "He reminds us to never give up that joy for the job. The department's gonna miss the hell out of him."

"I don't think that there is a greater tragedy to befall a community than the loss of a police officer," Mayor Randy Kelly said. "As mayor ... I know I speak for every citizen of St. Paul in expressing our greatest sorrow to Sgt. Vick's family and to his two children."

Vick, 41, was a 16-year veteran of the St. Paul force, Harrington said.

He had received two medals of valor. One came in December 1990 for rescuing a child from a burning home. The other was awarded in 1997, after Vick shot and killed an armed suspect at a crime scene.

Rest in peace, Sgt. Vick. You've earned your rest and your reward, but Minnesota will miss you terribly. Please join me in prayer for his family and friends.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 6, 2005 6:39 PM

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