A La Crescent police officer initiating a traffic stop narrowly missed serious injury or death when suspects inside the car shot at him, according to video recently released by Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Officer Ryan Quanrud can be seen walking toward the stopped vehicle in the early morning hours of July 31 near Hwys. 44 and 16 in Hokah in southeastern Minnesota. As Quanrud gets near, he sees a shotgun pointed out the window, then a shotgun blast go past him. It just barely missed his head, the video shows.
Quanrud and another officer who arrived on the scene shot at the vehicle as it drove away, starting a high-speed pursuit through Houston County. The suspects shot at police as the pursuit reached speeds between 90 and 100 miles per hour until the suspects crashed in a bean field on Hwy. 44 and Carpenter Road near Caledonia.
Both suspects fled on foot into the field and eventually were caught. Two 19-year-old men, Wyatt Robert Helfrich, of La Crosse, Wis., and William Gerald Wallraff, of Holmen, Wis., were charged with seven felony counts, including attempted first-degree murder of an officer, first-degree assault and fleeing a police officer.
The incident began when police spotted the men behaving suspiciously at a Kwik Trip gas station in La Crescent and attempted to stop their vehicle, which took off.
Squad cameras captured the shooting incident, and footage that was used by the BCA during its investigation was released this week.