A shooting at a corner store Thursday in East Bethel set off a chase on a busy highway, ending in a crash miles away and the suspect being shot by law enforcement.
Around 1 p.m. a man called 911 saying he had been shot and that the shooter had fled the area, said Anoka County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Paul Sommer.
The victim, who made the call from inside Cooper’s Corner gas station in the 23700 block of Hwy. 65, was taken to a nearby hospital with noncritical injuries, Sommer said.
Elise Strecker, an employee at the Bethel Subway located inside the gas station, was working when she heard customers rush to the window overlooking the parking lot. When Strecker looked outside, she said she saw the victim crawl several feet from the parking lot where he had been shot in the leg to a patch of grass.
From there, emergency dispatch communication indicates that law enforcement in squad cars began pursuing the suspect in a black sports car, sometimes at speeds well above the limit.
“He’s blowing my doors off,” one officer was heard on the scanner. “He’s going 120. ... He’s flying; probably 120, 130.”
Sommer said the suspect began swerving into traffic while traveling several miles south through Andover and finally ending in Anoka.
After another couple of minutes, the suspect cut through a ditch along Hwy. 10 east of 7th Avenue and headed west. He hit a guardrail and kept going, despite smoke coming from his car, the officer relayed on the scanner. The car quickly halted, the suspect jumped out and started running.
A foot chase ensued between Coon Rapids and Anoka police, and Anoka County Sheriff Deputies, which ended in a grassy area when a Coon Rapids officer fired at the suspect, Sommer said.
“Shots fired! Shots fired! He has a gun!” were the next words from officers involved. “The suspect has been shot. He’s in custody.”
“The suspect was attempting to escape and the officers believed he had something in his hand they thought was a gun,” Sommer said.
He said the suspect suffered a single gunshot wound and was taken to a nearby hospital with noncritical injuries.
There was still an active crime scene in Anoka during rush hour, causing a traffic jam throughout the area as authorities diverted traffic from Hwy. 10 to nearby roads.
The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office will be handling criminal charges against the suspect for the shooting and conduct through the pursuit and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will be handling the officer-involved shooting investigation.