Two suspects were fatally shot and an officer wounded following a traffic stop in Wadena County this weekend, the third fatal shooting involving law enforcement in Minnesota in the past week.
A struggle between a sheriff's deputy and a motorist ended in gunfire about 8:45 p.m. Saturday near Sebeka, the Sheriff's Office said Sunday. A second driver arrived on the scene and got involved.
According to the Sheriff's Office:
A deputy tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic offense near the intersection of 205th Avenue and 280th Street in North Germany Township. The vehicle eventually stopped near 205th and 270th.
With the deputy and the motorist involved in a physical confrontation, the second driver and a Sebeka police officer arrived.
A short time later, at least one of the motorists began shooting at the officers. One of the officers returned fire. All four were struck by gunfire.
One motorist died at the scene, while the other died at a hospital in Wadena.
The wounded deputy was taken by air ambulance to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale for treatment of noncritical injuries.
The deputy was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon and is recovering at home, according to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), which is investigating the incident.
The Sebeka officer was struck in the protective vest and did not require medical treatment.
Identities of all those involved in the confrontation have not been released yet.
North Germany Township is located about 18 miles northeast of the city of Wadena in Wadena County. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the population of the township is about 260.
Wadena Mayor George Deiss shared a statement on Facebook Sunday morning.
"Asking for prayers for the officers involved in the shooting last night, patience by community during this investigation, and comfort to all families affected."
In other recent incidents:
David Conwell, 37, of Duluth was fatally shot by police Friday after a daylong standoff with law enforcement during which he fatally shot a police K-9.
Last weekend, a man was shot to death by police after a 40-mile highway pursuit through Anoka and Isanti counties. A second man was charged Tuesday in that case, in which a police K-9 was wounded by gunfire but survived.
Staff writer Kim Hyatt contributed to this report.