Man who died in use-of-force incident identified

The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man who died Tuesday afternoon during a use-of-force incident in Pine County. He was a 34-year-old man from Bayfield, Wisconsin, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the medical examiner.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the Pine County deputy who used force. The BCA continues actively investigating this incident.

Based on preliminary investigation, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper saw a vehicle speeding north on Interstate 35 just after 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 21. The trooper attempted to pull over the vehicle, driven by a man later identified as the man from Bayfield. Several attempts to stop the vehicle were unsuccessful, including the use of stop sticks and a pit maneuver. About 20 minutes after the start of the pursuit, the man’s vehicle went off the road and into a ditch a few miles south of Sandstone.

Body camera video shows the trooper firing a beanbag round through the back windshield, then another round through the passenger window. When there was still no response from the driver, law enforcement officers approached the vehicle and saw he was dead. It took about 40 minutes from the start of the pursuit until troopers and deputies realized that the man had died.

Crime scene personnel recovered a handgun from inside the man’s car. There is body camera footage from both the troopers and deputies who were on scene. Agents are reviewing that footage as part of the ongoing investigation.

The Pine County Sheriff’s Office asked the BCA to investigate this incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Pine County Attorney’s Office for review.