White College Guard Sparks Manhunt for ‘Black Man in Hoodie,’ Admits He Shot Himself by Accident

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A security guard shot himself and blamed it on a black male suspect. Public domain

A college guard who accidently shot himself sparked a campus-wide manhunt in Minnesota after telling police he had been attacked by a "black man in a hoodie."

Police arrested Brent Patrick Ahlers, 25, following the incident on Tuesday night at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, CBS News reported.

Ahlers shot himself in the shoulder while on duty but told police that he had been attacked by a man he confronted in a wooded area of the campus. Dozens of officers then combed the campus for the suspect, provoking alarm when they failed to track down the gunman.

He later confessed he had brought his gun onto campus without permission and was afraid of losing his job if college authorities learned of its existence. He was arrested and is now facing a misdemeanor charge for falsely reporting a crime.

St. Paul Police Department officer Mike Ernester said the false shooting report created tension and concern on the university premises. "It had basically 1,800 students held captive in their dorm rooms," Ernester said. "It had residents of the community fearful that a suspect was on the loose and they could be victimized at any moment."

University President Becky Roloff said: "While we are distressed and saddened that this incident occurred, we are relieved that no other members of the community were injured."

Roloff later confirmed in a written statement that Ahlers had been fired from his job: "He is no longer an employee of the University effective today, September 14.

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

Neighbor Lisa Clarks told Minneapolis new site City Pages, “The idea there were all these cops swarming around, looking in alleys and looking for a black male.... Everyone was so on edge and high-alert.

"When someone taps into realistic public shootings, things that seem to pop up too frequently, it’s a real concern that people have.

"I was angry that he subjected the entire neighborhood to this huge police presence, that people were afraid being out and about...and that he took it past that, into tapping into people’s racism."