University Security Guard Shoots Himself, Blames Black Gunman with ‘Short Afro’

Brent Patrick Ahlers’ lie resulted in 55 officers, four police K-9s and a Minnesota State Patrol aircraft searching for a fictitious Black male.

Police in St. Paul, Minn., announced Wednesday that a St. Catherine University public safety officer lied when he said a Black male shot him on campus, which put “Black youth at risk,” said the president of the St. Paul African-American Leadership Council.

Brent Patrick Ahlers, 25, admitted to investigators that he accidentally shot himself in the shoulder on duty Tuesday while handling his personal handgun, law enforcement said at a press conference. He made up a story about an active shooter because he feared losing his job, as firearms are not permitted to be carried by or issued to the university’s public safety.

Ahlers called 911 just before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and reported that a suspicious person whom he confronted had shot him in a wooded corner on the St. Paul campus. He described the assailant as a Black male with a “short afro,” wearing a navy blue sweatshirt and black jeans, according to a police scanner clip. Ahlers was taken to Regions Hospital, treated and released.

Sgt. Mike Ernster, a St. Paul Police Department spokesman, said the incident had about “1,800 students held captive in their dorm rooms at St. Catherine’s, it had residents of the Mac-Groveland and Highland Park communities fearing they would be hurt in their homes.”

Shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday students were on lockdown while police spent several hours searching for the shooter. A total of 55 officers, four police K-9s and a Minnesota State Patrol aircraft circling overhead were involved in the search, Ernster said.

Tuesday night, the university sent out tweets warning students of the police search for a hostile shooter.

According to the Minneapolis City Pages, the message of a Black gunman on the loose spread to the nearby Highland Park neighborhood. A resident who is a regular police scanner listener posted the following tweet:

Police didn’t locate a suspect and called off the search just after midnight. At 2 a.m. Wednesday, St. Paul Police and the university issued an all clear for the campus after every building was searched.

During interviews, officers noticed inconsistencies in Ahlers’ story, and later that day he confessed. He was arrested for falsely reporting a crime, a misdemeanor, and booked into the Ramsey County jail.

He was released on bail Thursday. Deputy City Attorney Laura Pietan said the St. Paul City Attorney’s office is reviewing the case and has yet to make a charging decision, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

All classes and activities resumed at the college Wednesday. University President Becky Roloff confirmed in a statement Thursday that Ahlers has been fired.

“I want to be clear that St. Catherine University strongly condemns racial discrimination, racial stereotyping and racial profiling of any kind,” Roloff said. “The statements attributed to the former employee concerning the race of an alleged suspect are deeply troubling and do not reflect our values.”

In a statement Wednesday, Roloff said Ahlers worked at the college for 15 months and had no previous reports of misconduct. She also said that firearms are prohibited on campus.

“It’s a sickening thing,” Tyrone Terrill, president of the St. Paul African-American Leadership Council, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He put not only Black youth at risk, he put St. Paul police and other law enforcement at risk with his lie.”

“Suspicious” Black Males in Sweatshirts

Ahlers telling 911 that he confronted a suspicious Black man in a sweatshirt is similar to George Zimmerman describing Trayvon Martin to the emergency dispatcher as a “suspicious guy,” “in a dark hoodie, a gray hoodie.”

On Feb. 26, 2012, Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman deemed Martin, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt or “hoodie” on his way back from a convenience store, as a threat. Martin was only carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea.

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The hoodie, which Zimmerman considered a symbol of menace, became a symbol of injustice toward Martin, and even Black men in general.

Wearing a hoodie could soon be a crime - hoodie movement

NBA’s Miami Heat in 2012

The same year, the NBA’s Miami Heat made a team-wide response to Martin’s death by taking a photo wearing hoodies. Then team captain LeBron James posted the photo on his Twitter page with the hashtag: #WeAreTrayvonMartin.

At rallies in support of Martin, protesters wore hoodies. In 2013, the Smithsonian was reportedly interested in acquiring the hoodie Martin was wearing.

Zimmerman was acquitted of murder charges.

Ahlers’ lie about a Black shooter isn’t the first time the St. Paul area has been in the spotlight in regard to perception of Black males. Philando Castile was fatally shot during a traffic stop on July 6, 2016, by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony Police Department officer, in Falcon Heights, a suburb of the city.

As Castile lay dying behind the wheel, his girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath on her cellphone. The shooting death of Castile led to weeks of protests.

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Dashcam video shows what happened before police killed Castile during a traffic stop.

Yanez was charged with manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm. In June, during the trial, dashboard camera video was released. Despite Castile having a legal permit to carry a gun, the officer fired seven shots and hit Castile five times, including twice in the heart.

Yanez is no longer with St. Anthony Police Department, but he was acquitted of all criminal charges in the death of Castile.

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  • He just has to be telling the Truth ! Why would a Perfectly Goid Human Being and an even Better Officer Lie on a Black person in a hoodie with an Afro ??? Of course the black male exists ! They are All around you , especially when the seasons change to fall ! Wearing those damn Sweatshirts and those Defiant Afros ! On a College Campus ! Who wouldn’t be afraid ?

  • Greg Thrasher

    What always is of interest in these situations is how easy it is for people to accept the worst about Black Americans

    It is also interesting to observe the banter in White America when they believe they are under threat by Black Americans even without any basis or proof

    Negrophobia is real in America and has been for centuries



      • Alex: Europeans could have remained on the continent of Europe and left the continent of Africa alone. Plenty of room for you there.

  • This idiot needs to be punished severely. How is it that there are so many apparently deranged white males concentrated in agency dealing with law enforcement?

  • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    It says something sad about America, that whenever a criminal jerk (whether Milwaukee’s Capital Court murderous husband of a few years back, or this college rent-a-cop) wants to make up a dangerous menace, they almost always make the fictitious felon black. “OOOHHH, SCARY: AN ARMED NEGRO! OOOOOHHHHH!” (And the right-wing websites are full of these mythical “killer minorities who get away with it because of political correctness” no matter how unbelievable the lie.)

  • How did Ahlers even get this job? He’s obviously a liar, can follow the rules of his job, is a racist, and he can’t handle a weapon. Again, I ask, how did he get this job? What were his qualification to be a public safety officer? Ahlers was afraid of losing his job; well now he doesn’t have to worry anymore. SCU should be counting their lucky stars that idiot didn’t kill anybody and they need to do a much better screening/hiring job applicants.

  • What upsets me is that it’s a misdemeanor. Which doesn’t do much…but they need to sue him for the cost of the search. Every single penny. And the school should definitely deny unemployment benefits because of gross negligence.

    • His mind did not reach that far. The state of our racist country breeds imbeciles like him.

  • Yes, once again it was Super Negro. Sometimes there are two or more Super Negros. They always manage to get away. But then everyone knows how fast they can run.

    Just like Magical Negroes, Super Negroes are here to comfort white people and their angst.

    They conveniently shoot pregnant wives in their cars in Boston. They hijack SUVs with two little boys inside and then shove the van into icy waters, coldbloodedly drowning them.

    Super Negroes can always be counted on to take the blame. Thereby jeopardizing the freedom and lives of every black male, no matter the age or description, within a 100 mile radius, while exonerating poor innocent white people everywhere.

    Thank god for negroes for all kinds, otherwise, white folks might have to become victims of the criminal “justice” system for their crimes.

  • He looks like a punk. The type to get beat up in school and teased all day. Then flourish as either a security guard or police officer for his release. Another damn Jason Stockley.

  • Prosecute to the full extent. I really want to know how he shot himself in the shoulder. Cowboy twirling his gun, I bet.

  • There are probably several serial killers, rapists and child molesters (and idiots) in this suburban “lily white” community, but a false report about a Black male causes an entire campus lockdown and police force to be dispatched. He forgot to use the operative word “hoodie” in his description of a dangerous Black male with a gun. This is Susan Smith in a security guard’s uniform. This poor white trashing Black male, low-income, low-life is concerned about losing a low-level security guard job! With all his white male privilege in AmeriKKKa, the highest accomplishment this lazy racist could get is as a “rent-a-cop” who can’t even handle a gun properly. This is definitely a perfect example of the tRUMP supporter who is afraid of a Black male or a DACA [dreamer] taking his low-level job.

  • I’m reminded of a “political cartoon” from around the time of Susan Smith’s infamous lie. In it, the three bears (of fairytale fame) are glaring accusingly at Goldilocks in a scene that includes the chairs, beds, and porridge bowls that she’d ‘had her way’ with — or was it just the porridge bowls? — as she says to them, “A black man did it!”

  • Hoaxers should be prosecuted and punished.

    For instance, wasn’t that Columbia University false rape accuser administratively sanctioned and forcibly required to carry her mattress with her wherever she want on campus until she graduated?

  • Some method to the madness – the perfect accuracy of the statistics is a point of contention for many, but if one does plan to lie about a gun assault, one would likely increase the chances of being believed by claiming the non-existent assailant is a member of the group that, as statistics show, commits, by far, the highest percentage, per capita, of armed attacks.

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