Man may have been suicidal
North Branch Police Chief Dan Meyer, Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan and Lieutenant Tiffani Nielson, of the Minnesota State Patrol, briefed the media this afternoon about the officer-involved shooting that led to the death of a suspect just outside of North Branch.
Meyer said at about 7:30 a.m., North Branch officers were dispatched to an area in the 6600 block of Maple Street. He said the homeowner in that location had encountered an individual holding a small child and that the man was walking around the property.
“He was asking about using a vehicle, Meyer said. “He eventually walked away from that property, and that’s when we got the call. Just a few minutes later, we got another call about a mile away, in the area of Greenway Avenue and 379th Street, of a theft of vehicle where the suspect displayed a handgun.”
Meyer said he responded to the area.
“He had left a vehicle on scene and took a vehicle from the residents, and it sounds like it was the same individual from both scenes,” Meyer said.
Currently, Meyer said it doesn’t appear as though the man had a connection with anyone in North Branch, and it is still uncertain why he was in the area.
The man’s name has not yet been released.
Meyer said his department requested the aid of multiple law enforcement agencies to help locate the suspect.
Duncan said Sheriff’s Office deputies searched the area and were initially unable to locate the suspect, but then he revealed his location.
“About 9:51 a.m., we got an OnStar call from the person who did the carjacking in North Branch telling our dispatchers to come and pick up his 7-year-old daughter,” Duncan said, noting there was some indication the man may have been suicidal.
“I don’t know exactly what was said, but that (suicide) was part of it.”
According to the Sheriff’s Office Twitter feed, the suspect drove through a backyard, over a fence and onto I-35. He was later found in Rural Fish Lake Township, where officers engaged him.
“When we got there, we had an armed suspect,” Duncan said. “It’s still being investigated exactly what happened at the scene at that point.”
Duncan noted Sheriff’s Office Deputies and State Patrol were involved in the shooting, and they will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard department procedure following an officer-involved shooting.
Meyer said the girl in the incident was unharmed. It’s not yet known if she witnessed the shooting.
Meyer said no officers were hurt during the pursuit or shooting of the suspect.
“We don’t have many of these types of incidents in North Branch … Our main concern is the child,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s a tragic event. … It’s just tough for everybody involved.”