ROLLA, ND - A 29-year-old Rolette County sheriff's deputy and the unidentified driver a reportedly stolen vehicle are dead after a vehicle chase ended in a shootout on Wednesday night.
Rollete County Sheriff Gerald Medrud said at a press conference Thursday that deputy Colt Eugene Allery, two other Rolette County deputies, and a police officer from Rolla, were involved in the pursuit of a mini van reported stolen from Devils Lake around 6:10 p.m. by OnStar Service.
Pierce County authorities notified Medrud's office that GPS tracking indicated the suspect appeared to be heading into Rolette County.
After reaching speeds of 85-90 mph, the pursuit ended around 6:50 p.m. at a rural intersection about 7 miles south of Belcourt after OnStar reduced the mini van's speed to around 5 mph, according to Medrud.
The sheriff said an exchange of gunfire ensued in which all four officers fired their weapons. It's still unclear who fired the first shot, how many shots were fired, and who fired the shots that killed Allery and the suspect. Their bodies have been sent to Grand Forks for autopsies.
Citing Marsey's Law, Sheriff Medrud declined to provide details about Allery or the other officers. He did say Allery had been with the sheriff's department for three months, following three years as a tribal police officer and as an officer for the Rolla Police Department.
Medrud told the news conference that the three remaining officers have been placed on paid administrative leave as per normal procedure in such cases.
Mark Sailer, chief agent for the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said his agency will need about 30 days to complete its investigation and turn the findings over to the Rolette County State's Attorney for review.