MINNEAPOLIS — A man killed by Minnesota police after an apparent homicide and high-speed chase has been identified as a Washington state high school senior, but questions remained Thursday about why he was in Minnesota and what led to his confrontation with officers.
Johnathon Dean Mar, 18, of Kennewick, Washington, died of blood loss from multiple gunshot wounds, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner said Thursday. He was shot on Interstate 694 in Shoreview on Wednesday morning after police say he crashed the vehicle he was driving and brandished a weapon.
Authorities were pursuing Mar after they found another man, identified Thursday as Matthew Paul Maffei, 23, who also had ties to Washington, shot dead at an Interstate 94 rest stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove. The vehicle Mar was driving matched the shooting suspect's SUV, which had Oregon license plates.
It was not immediately clear why Mar was in Minnesota, whether he knew Maffei or what might have led to Maffei's shooting. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office said Maffei, who had no permanent address, died of a gunshot wound to the head. His death has been ruled a homicide.
The Maple Grove Police Department, which is investigating Maffei's death, had no additional information Thursday. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the officer-involved shooting of Mar, said additional information will be released Friday.
The Kennewick School District said Mar had been enrolled in the district for a total of seven months between 2011 and 2014. Most recently, he was enrolled at Legacy High School and Tri-Tech Skills Center since November, and had been at Southridge High School and Tri-Tech Skills Center earlier this year. He also attended an out-of-district online school.
School district spokeswoman Robyn Chastain said attendance records show Mar hasn't been at school since Dec. 11. A woman who identified herself as a family member declined to comment Thursday when The Associated Press reached her by phone.
Maffei attended middle school for 1½ years in the neighboring Pasco School District in eastern Washington but left the system in 2007, district spokeswoman Leslee Caul said.
Authorities said Wednesday there were more questions than answers in the case, but provided some information about how events unfolded.
Maple Grove police arrived at the Elm Creek rest stop about 1 a.m. Wednesday to find a man had been fatally shot. Officers soon spotted a red sport utility vehicle matching the description of the suspect's.
With the aid of a State Patrol helicopter, authorities pursued the SUV until it crashed into the cable barriers in the center median on I-694 in Shoreview, a suburb north of St. Paul. Authorities said Mar got out and was holding a weapon, prompting a Hennepin County sheriff's deputy and a Brooklyn Center police officer to open fire, killing him.