MOUNDS VIEW, Minn. — Authorities say a man who fired a gun at Ramsey County deputies Wednesday in Mounds View has died from his injuries after an officer struck him with a squad car.
Officials say an officer used their vehicle to "stop the threat" after the suspect raised a handgun and began firing at approaching officers. And while authorities didn't provide further details about the man's injuries, witnesses told KARE 11 that an officer used their vehicle to ram the suspect into a fence.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said the man, who was a suspect in a felony domestic assault, shot at a pursuing officers, hitting one officer's vehicle just above the driver's side windshield and a Ramsey County Deputy's vehicle just below the driver's side windshield.
Mylan Masson, a law enforcement training expert who once ran the state's Law Enforcement Program, said hitting a suspect with a squad car may not be specifically trained as a technique — but she said cars are considered potential use of force tools in life-or-death situations.
"It's very rare, and used only in desperation to stop the threat," Masson said. "It was the quickest and fastest way probably to do this. If they had to stop their car, get out of it, seek cover... by then, they could have been shot and killed, or someone else could have also."
According to a press release from the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, at around 10:40 a.m., deputies assisted the Mounds View Police Department on a report of a felony domestic assault involving a gun at the AmericInn by Wyndham on the 2200 block of Mounds View Boulevard.
The male suspect fled the area before officials arrived at the scene, but officials say witnesses and the victim of the domestic assault were able provide information to deputies and police to help them locate the man.
According to the release, authorities spotted the man walking in the area of the 5200 block of Pinewood Court in Mounds View when the suspect raised his gun and fired at approaching squads. It's unclear how many shots were fired, but officials say the Mounds View officer's squad was hit just above the driver's side windshield and just below the windshield of a Ramsey County Deputy's vehicle.
Police say they recovered a gun and the suspect was then transported to HCMC, where he later died.