MAHNOMEN, Minn. (WCCO) — A sheriff in northwestern Minnesota says he has released dashcam footage of a deputy shooting an armed woman following a pursuit and crash last month for the sake of transparency, and for concern over the deputy’s own safety.
Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Deputy Dakota Czerny shot 20-year-old Shequoya Basswood in the early morning of March 13 in the Village of Naytahwaush, near Mahnomen and the White Earth Reservation. The sheriff’s office say Basswood was in a vehicle that was speeding, and then fled from a traffic stop initiated by another deputy.READ MORE: Next Weather: Slightly Warmer Start To The Work Week
Dashcam footage shows the deputy approaching the vehicle, which had crashed into a ditch. Basswood and another passenger are standing next to the vehicle. Czerny begins to handcuff one of the passengers, and radios in that he needs backup. Seconds later he lunges backwards away from the pair, draws his handgun and yells, “Drop the gun! [Inaudible] got a gun!” Basswood is then seen raising a handgun towards Czerny. He then fires five rounds towards Basswood, who falls to the snowy ground.
Czerny had arrested two of the other passengers and placed them in his squad. Right after the shooting, one of those passengers is heard saying, “He did not just, no.” Another detained passenger then says, “No, no, no.”
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Basswood, from Mahnomen, was later airlifted to a Fargo hospital. She survived, but her current condition is not known. There were six total passengers in the vehicle, two of whom fled on foot before the shooting. One of the passengers was found, but it’s not clear if the other one who fled was tracked down.
In a statement that was released alongside the video, Sheriff Josh Guenther says he wanted the public to be “aware of the facts,” adding that, “there is a narrative being pushed through social media from a coalition out of the Twin Cities area stating that Deputy Czerny attempted to murder Basswood. This coalition has created a ‘Wanted’ poster regarding Deputy Czerny, which raises serious questions about Deputy Czerny’s safety.”
Guenther also says Basswood has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree attempted murder, fleeing police and possessing a handgun without a permit. He says Basswood is also charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun due to a previous conviction connected to a violent crime.MORE NEWS: Sen. Klobuchar Pushing To Help Modernize Minnesota National Guard's Fleet
The sheriff says Basswood had several warrants out for her arrest at the time of the shooting in connection to charges stemming from a 2021 assault. In that case, Basswood is charged with first-degree assault, second-degree riot and interfering with a 911 call.