A law enforcement pursuit late in the afternoon through two central Minnesota counties cracked 100 mph, involved the suspect shooting at officers and ended with the man shooting himself in the head, authorities said Wednesday.
Emergency dispatch audio Tuesday identified the suspect as Joshua A. Ostrowski, 36, and a hospital spokeswoman said he was in critical condition Wednesday at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.
“The driver did not follow officers’ commands to exit the vehicle,” according to a statement released Wednesday night by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). “At one point, officers fired beanbag rounds to knock out the vehicle’s back window, then fired chemical munitions [tear gas] into the vehicle.”
Officers approached the car and found the driver suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the BCA statement read. A handgun was recovered from inside the vehicle.
The largely easterly pursuit started near Browerville in Todd County after sheriff’s deputies tried to stop the car concerning “an ongoing investigation of suspected criminal activity,” according to the BCA statement.
Ostrowski passed through Randall, roughly where an officer reported to dispatch that the suspect “stuck the gun out and took a couple of shots at us.”
Soon after, the car struck a tree in Cushing, according to law enforcement and dispatch audio.
During that time, authorities deployed an armored vehicle, a drone and fired the tear gas at the car while he was inside, the dispatch audio revealed.
An ambulance took Ostrowski first to St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls before he was flown to North Memorial, according to the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office.
Emergency dispatch reported that he was driving a stolen vehicle, a 2000 Lincoln sedan registered out of Parkers Prairie, Minn. But authorities have yet to be specific about what prompted their suspicions about the car.
The BCA released limited information about the officers who targeted the car with the beanbag rounds and tear gas. One was identified as Little Falls police officer Joshua Burgardt, who’s been with the department for 13 years. The other officer was only described as a Morrison County Sheriff’s Office employee. The BCA said it was revealing no more about that officer because of his undercover work.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482