Minneapolis police officer wounded in targeted attack, say police

After a Minneapolis police officer was shot Saturday morning, a man was arrested in connection with the shooting. The Minneapolis mayor called the shooting a "cowardly act."

(AP Photo/Star Tribune, David Joles
An officer searches with a dog accompanied by a SWAT team member after a Minneapolis police officer was shot , Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Minneapolis. Police say two officers were standing by their marked squad car after having handling a burglary call early in the day when someone shot one of them. The wounded officer's partner drove him to a hospital, where he's listed in satisfactory. No one is in custody.

Minneapolis police arrested a suspect Saturday in the early-morning wounding of an officer who investigators believe was shot because he was a member of the police force.

Andrew Neal was arrested around 1:30 p.m. Saturday at 1119 Logan Ave N., after the home was surrounding by a SWAT team and officers from the Fourth Precinct, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

According to police, the officer and his partner had just handled a burglary call and were standing by their squad car at around 5 a.m. when someone shot the officer. His partner drove him to a hospital, where Elder said he's listed in "satisfactory but stable condition." He didn't describe the officers injuries in further detail.

Elder said the officer seemed to be targeted because he was a member of the police force, not because of anything he might have done.

"We're looking to see if that is a setup for the shooting, or did this individual just drive around looking for a police officer of some sort," Elder said. "At this point we don't know."

Chief Janee Harteau met with the officer and his family at the hospital, the department said in a news release.

"There is little doubt that an officer was the intended target of this shooting and that this officer just happened to be the one who was there," she said in a statement. "This is a reminder to all that every one of our officers face such danger simply because they choose to wear a uniform. We ask for continued prayers for this officer, his family and every officer who is out protecting and serving their communities,”"

In a news release, Mayor Betsy Hodges called the shooting a "cowardly act."

The shooting in Minneapolis comes on the heels of other similar attacks and concerns about tensions between police and the communities they serve. 

As The Christian Science Monitor reported, Atlanta's police chief George Turner seems to be a model. 

Where to strike the balance between using potentially lethal force and holding back is something that beat cops and chiefs are struggling with across the country in the wake of the most searing debate over police tactics in a half century. Top cops such as Turner want to make sure that their rank-and-file officers are using the necessary force to keep the public and themselves safe, but they also want to avoid the excessive policing practices that have stirred racial unrest and frayed police-community relations nationwide.

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