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BCA investigation reveals details about North St. Paul officer's death

ST. PAUL -- The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) today released preliminary findings in its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Officer Richard Crittenden, who was killed in the line of duty on September 7, 2009.

The BCA also released the name of the second officer involved, Officer Julie Olson, a ten-year veteran of the Maplewood Police Department. BCA agents interviewed Officer Olson, as well as several witnesses, and have examined physical evidence and preliminary autopsy results.

The estranged wife of 34-year-old Devon Dockery (DOB 7/10/75), called the non-emergency line at the North St. Paul Police Department. She requested that an officer come to her apartment at 2253 Skillman Avenue, Apartment 101, in North St. Paul, to ensure Dockery wasn't there before she and her daughter entered. Officer Richard Crittenden was dispatched to the scene, and because he was the only North St. Paul officer on duty at the time, he requested backup from the Maplewood Police Department. Officer Julie Olson met the woman and Officer Crittenden at the scene.

The woman unlocked the door of the apartment and led Officer Crittenden inside. Immediately, Dockery charged at them with an accelerant-soaked cloth which was on fire. Officer Crittenden pushed the woman and her daughter out of the way. Then Dockery struck Officer Crittenden with the flaming cloth in the head area. Although burned, Officer Crittenden fought Dockery and Officer Olson battled to help subdue the suspect.

During the confrontation, Dockery was able to remove Officer Crittenden's gun from its holster. Dockery then turned and pointed Officer Crittenden's gun at Officer Olson. The two engaged in a gun battle. Officer Olson was struck once and Dockery was shot five times. At that point, Officer Lonn Bakke of the Maplewood Police Department arrived and he and Officer Olson disarmed Dockery. Emergency personnel arrived and found both Crittenden and Dockery unresponsive.

A provisional report by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner found that Officer Richard Crittenden died as a result of a close range gunshot wound to the head. Devon Dockery died of blood loss associated with his gunshot wounds.

Officer Richard Crittenden had been with the North St. Paul Police Department for nine years. Officer Julie Olson has been with the Maplewood Police Department for ten years. Officer Lonn Bakke has been with the Maplewood Police Department for twelve years.