Saint Paul’s saddest day

Linda Bailey-Klein

Other than 9/11, I can’t recall a sadder day in the Twin Cities than the one that happened 19 years ago today.

Police received a call around 7 a.m. that a man was sleeping in a car in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Church at E. Sixth and Hope Streets. Ron Ryan, a 29-year-old rookie patrolman went to check it out. The man was Guy Harvey Baker, a 26-year-old Marine combat veteran who was wanted in Mason City, Iowa, on a parole violation for illegal possession of firearms. He shot Ryan five times. By 8:30 a.m., officer Ryan was dead.

A couple of kids saw Baker run into the woods near a liquor store on Old Hudson Road. Not entirely unlike the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, the East Side was locked down. People stayed in their homes, police helicopters searched overhead. Dozens of cops with guns searched every neighborhood.

Officer Tim Jones and Laser (SPPD)

Not more than an hour or so later, Officer Tim Jones, one of the many cops who volunteered to look for Baker, and his K-9, Laser found him hiding in an ice fishing shack. Baker shot him to death and while he stood over Jones’ body, he was jumped by Laser. The dog was also shot to death.

Police found Baker hiding under a pile of lumber and rubbish on Euclid Avenue early in the afternoon.

He pleaded guilty to murder and is serving two life sentences at Oak Park Heights.

Officer Jones’ son was 8 when his dad was murdered. This year he became a Saint Paul cop.

  • MrE85

    I remember that day well. I heard via WCCO-AM that a St. Paul police officer had been shot. I knew they would send him to the place where I worked, St. Paul-Ramsey (now Regions), so I headed for the ER to find out what I could. I ended up getting swept up with the EMTs and ER staff rushing Officer Ryan up to surgery.Later that same day we got Officer Jones, as well as the wounded suspect. It was a long, sad day

  • Sharon

    I happy his son is following in his dads foot steps, Please be safe out there :) RIP Officer Ryan

  • Jim Sazevich

    Thank you for your remembrance and tribute to these fallen officers. With the years, our memories get fuzzy. I remember listening to these events unfold on the radio, but remember it spanning most of that day. If you had asked me, I would have said officer Jones was shot in the early afternoon of that day, but I’m sure you checked your facts before writing this story. I attended the funeral of officer Jones, as I have several friends who were officers on the force. It was so very impressive to see representation of law enforcement agencies from one end of our country to the other, and also a huge representation from our northern neighbor Canada. God bless and keep our peace officers safe.