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North St. Paul officer shot and killed; suspect also dead

Officer Richard Crittenden was shot and killed Monday morning.

Officer Richard Crittenden was shot and killed Monday morning.

A quiet Labor Day weekend ended tragically Monday morning when a North St. Paul officer was shot and killed while responding to a call on a restraining order violation at an apartment. The shooting suspect was also shot and killed during the incident.

Richard Crittenden, 57, was a nine-year veteran of the police department. He was the first "line-of-duty" death for the North St. Paul police.

Officers responded around 8:30 a.m. to 2253 Skillman Ave. in North St. Paul. The Maplewood officer also on the scene was also shot in the wrist. She was treated and released from the hospital.

This apartment complex, and this apartment in particular, were familiar to police.

More from the Star Tribune:

Officer Richard Crittenden was about 90 minutes into his shift Monday morning when the call came for him to head to a familiar trouble spot.

Just the day before, police had gone to the same unit at the Aspen Village apartments in North St. Paul for a domestic disturbance. Crittenden, not wanting to take any chances, called for and received backup from an officer in neighboring Maplewood.

The pair arrived at the first-floor apartment at 2253 Skillman Av. E. about 8:30 and confronted suspect Devon Dockery, a man authorities knew all too well.

His latest run-in with the law would prove deadly.

Dockery has been arrested in May and late August after allegedly violating the same restraining order.

Police Chief Tom Lauth held a news conference Monday to talk about Crittenden, saying he was a "fantastic person" and part of the suburban department's "big family".

More from the Pioneer Press:

"This is a man who gave his life, the ultimate sacrifice, to protect others," Lauth said.

"This man was a husband; he's a father; he's a son; he's a brother to many, not just to his family but to law enforcement," Lauth said. "He's also a grandfather.

"This is hard to put into words how far out this stretches. The loss here goes way beyond words. This man meant a lot to so many people."