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BCA Investigating After SWAT Team Sniper Fatally Shoots Suspect In Standoff

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(credit: Eliot Schechter/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Eliot Schechter/AFP/Getty Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities are investigating after a SWAT team sniper fatally shot a man Wednesday in rural Beltrami County during a standoff.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the shooting, which happened at a house on the 9200 block of Spencer Road in Liberty Township.

According to the county sheriff’s office, deputies responded to the scene just after 4:38 p.m. when a call came in reporting a man was under mental duress, making threats to kill himself and others, and was armed with a loaded rifle. When deputies approached the house, they heard gunshots. Then the Headwaters SWAT Team, along with officers from the State Patrol and the DNR arrived, to assist. A standoff ensued.

From inside the home, the suspect fired several shots towards officers. Shortly after 8 p.m., he came out from the house, pointing his rifle toward authorities. That’s when a SWAT sniper shot him and he crawled, injured, back inside.

Several minutes later, the suspect broke a window and tried to get out of the house. Officers immediately arrested him, and emergency crews began treating his wounds. A helicopter took him to a Fargo hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

He man’s identity has not been released. An autopsy is slated to be performed at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Friday.

The SWAT team sniper, Beltrami County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Roberts, is on administrative leave, which is standard. He has worked at the sheriff’s office for eight years.

The BCA is interviewing the law enforcement officers involved in the standoff as well as witnesses. When authorities initially arrived at the home, they provided cover for two women to escape. Once the BCA’s investigation is complete, it will present its finding to the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office for review.

Liberty Township is a three hour drive northeast from Fargo.

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