La Crescent officers involved in bean field shootout

Published 7:58 am Tuesday, August 1, 2017

By Tim Harlow

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Officers from La Crescent, Minn. exchanged gunfire with two men during a high-speed pursuit that ended early Monday when the suspects were arrested after crashing their vehicle in a farm field in Houston County.

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One of the men was taken to a hospital in La Crosse, Wis. where he was treated for noncritical injuries and later booked into jail on probable cause for attempted murder. The second suspect was uninjured and booked into the Houston County jail in southeastern Minnesota on the same charge, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said.

No officers were injured in the incident that unfolded around 1:30 a.m., said Jill Oliveira, a BCA spokeswoman.

Police spotted the men behaving suspiciously at a Kwik Trip gas station in La Crescent and attempted to stop their vehicle as they left. As officers initiated a traffic stop at Hwys. 44 and 16 in Hokah, the suspects shot at police. The officers fired back, Oliveira said.

The suspects fled in a green Ford Taurus and raced south along Hwy. 44 at speeds of between 90 and 100 miles per hour, according to a recording posted on the Police Clips website. The suspects shot rounds at police as the pursuit continued until they crashed in a bean field on Hwy. 44 and Carpenter Road near Caledonia.

Both suspects fled on foot into the field and eventually were caught, Oliveira said.

In the dramatic arrest captured on the recording, officers can be heard ordering the suspects to keep their hands up, shouting for them to “get away from the car and get on the ground.” A few moments later an officer asks for medical help saying “one male suspect is wounded.”

The injured suspect suffered two gunshot wounds to the back of the neck, according to the recording.

Squad cameras captured the shooting incident and will be used by the BCA during its investigation. No information about the officers — other than that they were not hurt — has been released. The officers will be placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure in cases like this, Oliveira said.