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Mahnomen sheriff's deputy shot multiple times

MAHNOMEN, Minn. - A Mahnomen County sheriff's deputy has been shot multiple times in Mahnomen, about 90 miles northeast of Fargo.

Mahnomen County Attorney Julie Bruggeman says the shooting occurred around 7 a.m. Wednesday about a block west of the Mahnomen County Courthouse in downtown Mahnomen.

Authorities said the incident began with a report of a drunk driver leaving the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen. A sheriff's deputy was dispatched but he only found the suspect's vehicle in a residential section of town near the Mahnomen County Courthouse. The occupants had already fled the vehicle.

Authorities later in the morning then received reports of shots being fired. A deputy reported about 7:10 a.m. to a house in the area where the vehicle was found to speak with a potential witness, Mahnomen County Sheriff Douglas Krier said in news conference this morning.

"At about 7:11, his backup called to find out his status and see how he was doing," Krier said during the news conference, which was rebroadcast by KFGO. "(The deputy) did not answer his radio. When the deputy had arrived there, he found his partner laying on the sidewalk or laying on the driveway of the residence that he was going to check for a witness. The deputy had been shot multiple times."

The suspects then ran into a residence across the street, Krier said. Bruggeman says two male suspects are holed up in a mobile home near the shooting scene, Krier said.

The wounded deputy was taken to a hospital in Mahnomen and then airlifted to MeritCare in Fargo. The man's injuries are unknown and his family has asked hospital officials not to release his condition at this time, according to a hospital spokesman.

The 26-year-old deputy, whose name has not been released, was undergoing surgery at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D. He's been with the department four years.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist says the Red River Valley SWAT Team - comprised of members of the Cass and Clay County sheriffs' offices, West Fargo, Fargo and Moorhead police - are responding to the scene. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension also is send-ing its SWAT team, its Crime Scene Team and investigators. Other law officers also have responded.

Mahnomen Mayor Martin Warnsholz said the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies were dealing with a situation this morning but he said he had not been briefed on the specifics.

Warnsholz said officers had an area of town blocked off but business at city hall, located in a different part of town, was not affected.