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Iron Range man fatally wounded in shootout with trooper

An Iron Range man was fatally wounded in a shoot­out with a law enforcement officer Saturday night.

About 11:10 p.m., authorities received a complaint that a man was firing rounds through an occupied residence in Great Scott Township, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office. No one was injured, and a suspect fled the scene.

According to the sheriff's office:

A Minnesota State Patrol trooper found the suspect at his home in the 4600 block of County Highway 25 near Mountain Iron.

As the officer approached, the suspect pulled out a long gun. He and the trooper exchanged fire, and the suspect was wounded. The suspect was transported to a hospital and later died of his wounds. The trooper was not injured.

Fran Kayfes lives off Highway 25 not far from where the shooting occurred. He said Satur­day's commotion was unusual.

"I heard gunfire. It sounded like one shot to me. And then I heard the ambulance coming," he said.

Kayfes said he's not sure which of his neighbors was involved. He has lived in the area for about 40 years and said it's unusual to hear any gunfire, except during deer hunting season.

Township Chairman Herb Sellars said many of the township's residents live out of sight of their nearest neighbors, and that's one of the attractions of the area.

"Generally, the folks who live around here seem to be private people who mostly want to be left alone," he said.

Great Scott Township is home to fewer than 500 people living almost entirely in a rural setting, said Deb Thielen, the township's clerk.

"It's always been a quiet area," she said. "I've never heard of anything like this happening up here."

The sheriff's office, Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating the incident. The names of the victim, office and departments involved were not released.

The last fatal shooting involving a Minnesota State Patrol officer in the North­land occurred a year ago, on May 5, 2009, when former Two Harbors resident Quincy Adam Pederson, who authorities suspected had robbed a North St. Paul Subway restaurant and shot at a police officer, was shot after a police chase near Grand Marais. A Cook County Sheriff's deputy also was involved.

In November 2006, Ronald Hannuksela of Cherry was killed after failing to obey a trooper's orders to exit his vehicle and brandishing a .32-caliber revolver.