ST. PAUL, Minn. — The two North Dakota residents involved in a shootout that wounded a Minnesota sheriff's deputy later died in a murder-suicide, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Wednesday.
Investigators believe 24-year-old Devin Blowers shot and killed 29-year-old Katie Christopherson, then fatally shot himself, the agency said.
The bodies of the two Fargo, N.D., residents were found after Douglas County Deputy Dustin Alexander, who was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, was shot in the chest Monday night while checking a suspicious vehicle near Alexandria in west-central Minnesota.
Alexander had gotten identification from Christopherson and Blowers and briefly returned to his squad car, the BCA said. When the deputy returned to the suspects' vehicle a second time, Blowers shot Alexander, striking him in his vest, a preliminary investigation found. The deputy returned fire, and the suspects fled in their car but became stuck in the snow and ran away.
About four hours later, law officers found Blowers and Christopherson dead near an outbuilding. A handgun and a shotgun were found near their bodies.
Blowers pleaded guilty last Thursday in North Dakota's Cass County to a misdemeanor charge of ingesting a controlled substance. He was placed on probation for a year and given credit for 10 days served in jail, according to online court records.
Blowers' court-appointed attorney said he does not recall anything violent about his client.
"It's just unfortunate. My thoughts and prayers go out to everybody's families who were involved. It's a sad deal. I'm kind of speechless about it," attorney Charles Justin Sheeley of Fargo said Wednesday.
A warrant was out for Christopherson's arrest after she was charged earlier this month in Cass County with possession of drug paraphernalia, a felony. She had not appeared in court yet and did not have an attorney assigned. She was given probation and a deferred sentence in 2010 after pleading guilty to a felony charge accusing her of giving a false name at a hospital to try to get drugs.
Alexander, who has been with the sheriff's office for three years and is a member of the Douglas County SWAT team, was treated at a hospital and released. He is on standard administrative leave.
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