ORR— A kidnapping and pursuit that started in International Falls on Tuesday evening ended in the parking lot of the North Country Inn in Orr, where the woman abductee fled the car as the …
ORR— A kidnapping and pursuit that started in International Falls on Tuesday evening ended in the parking lot of the North Country Inn in Orr, where the woman abductee fled the car as the suspect shot himself in the head.
An initial press release provided to the Timberjay by Koochiching County Sheriff Perryn Hedlund indicated that the International Falls police department received a report that an adult woman had been forced into a white van by a man with whom she had a prior relationship at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Law enforcement from across the region converged on the area to initiate a search for the vehicle.
At about 8:30 p.m., St. Louis County Sheriff’s deputies located the van near Lake Kabetogama, heading south on Hwy. 53. A pursuit ensued, reaching speeds of up to 80 mph. Stop sticks were deployed that damaged the van’s tires, but the pursuit continued.
When the van reached Orr, the driver pulled into the parking lot of the North Country Inn, reportedly waving a gun outside of the van window as he drove. Several law enforcement vehicles were successful in stopping the van and officers surrounded the vehicle.
The kidnapping victim then fled the vehicle, rushing to a wooded area where officers found her a short time later.
At about the same time, officers heard a single gun shot from inside the van and observed the suspect with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Officers provided medical assistance until Orr Ambulance Service arrived. The man was transported by Life Link Air Care to Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth for treatment of life-threatening injuries. Investigators located a handgun inside the van.
The woman was taken to Essentia Health – Virginia for evaluation.
No officers were injured during the incident, and no officers discharged their weapons.
The names of the suspect and victim were not released.
An investigation by International Falls Police and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s office is underway, assisted by state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime scene personnel.
Additional law enforcement agencies responding to the incident included the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Paul Bunyan Violent Crime Enforcement Team, Headwaters Safe Trails FBI Task Force, and Lake Superior Drug Task Force.