Two dead, 'more questions than answers,' after I-694 police chase

Police begin to clear the scene of a shooting.
Police begin to clear the scene of a shooting on Interstate 694 East and Rice Street in Shoreview, Minnesota, on Wednesday.
Regina McCombs / MPR News

Updated 2:50 p.m. | Posted 5:50 a.m.

A fatal shooting in Maple Grove early Wednesday led to a police chase and shootout on Interstate 694 that led to the suspect's death.

Maple Grove police officers responding to reports of a shooting at about 1 a.m. found an unidentified man dead at a rest stop near Interstate 94 and Weaver Lake Road in Maple Grove, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

The officers sent out a description of a suspect they saw getting into a vehicle at the scene. Other officers attempted to pull the car over in the area where I-94 and I-694 split, but the car didn't stop.

Police chased the vehicle — described as a red SUV with an Oregon license plate — until it crashed in the center median along I-694 in Shoreview.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek addressed media questions Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, about the officer-involved shooting which occurred earlier in the morning on I-694.
Brandt Williams / MPR News

"The suspect was alone in the vehicle and following the crash he got out of the vehicle armed with a weapon," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek told reporters late this morning. "The officers fired their weapons, ultimately killing the suspect."

The officers who shot the suspect were from The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the Brooklyn Center Police Department, he said.

Stanek wouldn't say what kind of weapon the suspect was carrying, nor would he say how many shots were fired by the officer and the deputy.

"We have a lot more questions than we have answers to at this point," he said.

Law enforcement officials said many details around the events couldn't yet be made public, but urged anyone with knowledge of the shooting at the rest stop in Maple Grove to contact police.

"These are situations that we in law enforcement take very seriously," Stanek said. "Our goal is to always resolve public safety issues peacefully, unfortunately, two lives were lost today, and many other lives were impacted tremendously."

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the officer-involved shooting at the request of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

Maple Grove Police are investigating the apparent killing at the rest stop.

A witness identified the vehicle driven by the shooting suspect but investigators still need more help from the public, Maple Grove Police Chief Eric Werner said.

The names of the officers who shot and killed the homicide suspect are expected to be released later this week. The identities of the two men killed may be released later today or tomorrow.

Law enforcement closed I-694 in both directions between Interstate 35E and Interstate 35W for several hours following the shooting. It reopened about 9:30 a.m.

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