What started as a man acting suspiciously and asking a homeowner to use a vehicle blossomed into an armed carjacking at a second residence Monday morning and ended four hours later when the suspect was shot by law enforcement in a field near Harris, Minn.
The male suspect, whose name has not been released, died at the scene, Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan said during a news conference. He was not in the vehicle when the shots were fired. Law officers found his 7-year-old daughter in the black 2014 Chevy Impala that had come to rest in a field off of 460th Street. She was checked out by paramedics and was not hurt, Duncan said.
"This is a tragic event for all of us," he said.
Events unfolded about 7:30 a.m. when a man approached a homeowner in the 6600 block of Maple Street in North Branch and asked about using a vehicle. He left the property carrying a small child and the homeowner called police to report the suspicious activity, said the city's police chief, Dan Meyer.
A few minutes later, the man showed up in a car on the 37900 block of Greenway Avenue, where a woman was in her driveway preparing to go to work. The man showed a gun and carjacked the woman's Impala.
Meyer said it appears the two car owners were chosen at random and there was no reason to believe they knew each other. It was not known why the carjacker was in North Branch.
North Branch Police, the Chisago County Sheriff's Office and the State Patrol searched for the carjacker, who at one time was spotted driving through a yard, over a fence and onto I-35, Duncan said in a news release and with photos posted on Twitter.
Authorities believed he may have been in other neighborhoods looking to steal another vehicle, police said.
About two hours after the carjacking, the thief called OnStar, which allowed law enforcement to determine his location. That is when they found the man and a vehicle matching the description of the one that was stolen. Shots were fired, but authorities have not said who fired or how many times.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.