Grands Rapids Police Officer's Car, Home Shot at

Baihly Warfield
September 11, 2017 10:12 PM

A Grand Rapids police officer's home and squad car were shot at Sunday night.

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According to the Grand Rapids Police Department, Officer Matt O'Rourke was off-duty and at home when "he heard multiple projectiles striking his marked police squad car parked in his driveway." They were also allegedly hitting his house. 

GRPD said after a vehicle sped away, O'Rourke followed them and called for backup from on-duty officers. 

Another GRPD officer and K-9 Radar found the suspect car near Murphy Elementary School. 

"Hits close to home, because it's one of your own officers," Assistant Chief Steve Schaar said. 

Two men, a 20-year-old from Grand Rapids and an 18-year-old from Bemidji, are in custody awaiting charges.  

Schaar said it was a relief the two were caught so quickly. 

"The thought of somebody still being out there would be unnerving," he said. 

No one was hurt, and Schaar said the O'Rourkes are doing OK. 

"After it happened, we had some officers go over there and a sergeant go over there and make contact with them on phone and he was doing good, and his family's doing good," Schaar said. 

These kinds of events are rare in the Northland, but Schaar said the unknown is part of the job as a law enforcement officer.

"We go on calls where we have to fight somebody. We get punched, we get kicked, spat on. As far as shooting or knifings, no, that does not happen," he said. 

According to Schaar, since the victims were a Grand Rapids police officer and his family, the Itasca County Sheriff's Office will investigate. 

There are still some unanswered questions about motive and what kind of firearm and projectiles were used. Those may be answered when charges are filed. The Itasca County Attorney's Office did not respond to a request asking when that might happen.

The Minnesota State Patrol, Itasca County Sheriff's Department, Bovey Police, Coleraine Police and Minnesota DNR officers all helped. 


Baihly Warfield

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