Pursuit results in one dead by BP
A high-speed chase through Steele County with several area law agencies ended Monday afternoon in the driver committing suicide outside of Blooming Prairie.
The chase ended on Highway 30 at County Road 46 and 84th Avenue about a mile west of Blooming Prairie at about 12:30 p.m. According to Sgt. Gary Okins of the Steele County Sheriff’s Office, the man shot and killed himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Okins identified the man as a 39-year-old rural Blooming Prairie man, who lives east of town in Dodge County. His name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.
“He was having personal issues with more than one person,” Okins said, adding he didn’t know what exactly caused him to snap.
At 11:40 a.m., Blooming Prairie Police received a report of a man armed with a handgun making terroristic threats of violence toward an Owatonna resident, Okins said. An Owatonna police officer spotted the vehicle south of Owatonna a short time later.
Shortly after 12 p.m., police began pursuing the vehicle. The chase went to Hope and cut across county roads to U.S. Highway 218. Okins said officers tried to deploy stop sticks a couple times during the chase, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The chase reached speeds of 85 mph.
When the vehicle got to Highway 30 and County 46, a sheriff’s deputy utilized a PIT maneuver, spinning the vehicle out of control and making it come to a stop.
“Before officers could get out of their squads, he shot himself,” Okins said. A short time after the chase ended, deputies draped a white blanket over the passenger’s side of the car until the medical examiner could respond to the scene.
Blooming Prairie Ambulance arrived on the scene moments later, but no further action was taken by the EMTs.
Highway 30 west of Blooming Prairie was closed for several hours as officers conducted a thorough investigation of the incident.
An autopsy is being conducted by the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Rochester. Though results are pending from the autopsy, Okins said no drugs or alcohol had been detected.
Okins expressed relief that no police officers or motorists were injured during the incident.
Besides the sheriff’s office, the State Patrol, Blooming Prairie Police and Owatonna Police assisted with the chase.