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Authorities name West Fargo man shot by police in Becker County

The Minnesota State Patrol and Becker County Sheriff’s Department were at the scene where a tan Bronco truck was pulled over and surrounded by squad cars Thursday night, Sept. 28, at U.S. Highway 10 and County Road 15 just east of Audubon.Kaysey Price/ Forum News Service

AUDUBON, Minn. — Two Becker County sheriff’s officers opened fire on a West Fargo man, wounding him after he brandished a rifle at the end of a high-speed chase Thursday night, Sept. 28, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Dean Robert Minnerath, 55, is being treated at Essentia hospital in Fargo, the bureau said. A hospital spokeswoman said she was not able to provide a report on Minnerath's condition.

The two Becker County officers who fired shots have been put on standard administrative leave, the bureau said. No officers were injured.

Sheriff Todd Glander said deputies became involved in a chase in western Becker County about 7:25 p.m. Thursday. The pursuit ended on U.S. Highway 10 just east of Audubon after police punctured the car’s tires.

According to the BCA, Sgt. Dan May and Deputy Daran Borth were responding to a 911 call about a person in Cormorant Township threatening to kill people when they spotted a car driven by Minnerath heading north on County Road 5.

Deputies tried to pull him over, but he drove away, reaching speeds over 95 mph, the BCA said. At U.S. 10, he headed east, and the State Patrol joined the pursuit.

The BCA said that after Minnerath’s tires were punctured by spikes deployed by the patrol, he “immediately emerged from the vehicle brandishing a rifle toward the deputies.” Both deputies fired their weapons, striking Minnerath, the BCA said.

Minnerath received first aid from police on the scene before an ambulance took him to a helicopter at Detroit Lakes airport where he was flown to Essentia.

BCA agents interviewed a passenger in Minnerath’s car but that person was later released.

The bureau said it’s investigating the officers involved in the shooting and will turn over findings to the Becker County Attorney’s Office. The Becker County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident that led to the pursuit.

None of the police officers present at the scene wore body cameras, though several cameras in squad cars may have recorded the shootings, the BCA said.

Minnesota and North Dakota court records show that Minnerath has a criminal record that spans three decades, with numerous convictions, including drunken driving, assault, drug possession, terroristic threats and felon in possession of a handgun.

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