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BCA identifies woman killed in St. Paul force incident

ST. PAUL — The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the woman who died May 6 after a use-of-force incident involving St. Paul police. According to the medical examiner, Pepsi Lee Heinl, 41, of St. Paul died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified three St. Paul police officers who used force during this incident. They are all on critical incident leave.

• Chiking Chazonkhueze fired his department handgun. He has three-and-a-half years of law enforcement experience.

• Chee Lao fired his department handgun. He has three months of law enforcement experience.

• Yengkong Lor fired his department handgun. He has three years of law enforcement experience.

According to the preliminary investigation, St. Paul police officers responded to a home on reports of a suicidal woman. When they arrived, the woman’s mother called them into a back room of the home. There they saw Heinl sitting on the floor and asked her if she needed help. She rapidly reached under a blanket, pulled out a handgun, stood up and pointed it at the officers. Chazonkhueze, Lao and Lor fired their handguns at her, striking her multiple times. The officers attempted to provide life-saving care but Heinl died at the scene.

BCA crime scene personnel recovered a handgun and cartridge casings at the scene. The officers were wearing body cameras that captured the incident. BCA agents are reviewing the video as part of their active investigation.

The St. Paul Police Department asked the BCA to investigate this incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office for review.


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