Crime

Officers identified in Houston County shooting incident

CALEDONIA, Min (WKBT) - UPDATE: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified the officers in the shooting incident July 31 in Houston County.

The two La Crescent Police Department officers who fired their weapons during the incident are Officer Ryan Quanrud, five years with the department and Officer Christopher Frick, six years with the department. Both officers are on administrative leave.

HOUSTON COUNTY COURT UPDATE: The two 19-year-old men arrested after a police chase and shootout in Houston County each are charged with seven felony counts, including attempted 1st degree murder, of a police officer according to a complaint filed in Houston County Court Wednesday.

According to the complaint, on July 31 La Crescent police stopped a car on Highway 16 near Miller's Corner for speeding. When an officer approached the stopped car to speak to the driver, Wyatt R. Helfrich, leaned over and shot at him. Helfrich and his passenger, William G. Wallraff took off at a high rate of speed.

The officers pursued the men who reached speeds of 90-100 miles per hour as they drove through Hokah, Minnesota. During the chase, Wallraff shot multiple times at police. Officers described that Helfrich would slow down to "lure" the police car closer in an attempt to get a better shot at the police, the complaint said.

Authorities said officers placed stop sticks at the intersection of Highway 44 and Indian Springs Road. The suspect's car hit the stop sticks and went into a ditch. Helfrich and Wallraff ran into a field and were detained shortly thereafter.

Wallraff told law officers that he and Helfrich left a 20 gauge shot gun, a .308 rifle, and ammunition in the field, according to the complaint.

PREVIOUS 8/1/2017: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension release an update on the investigation of the officer involved shooting in Houston County.

Two La Crescent police officers observed two men behaving suspiciously at the Kwik Trip on South 3rd Street in La Crescent around 1:30 a.m. Monday, the release said.

Officers followed the men after they left the gas station and pulled them over at Highway 44 and Highway 16 in Hokah. During the stop, officers were shot at and then returned fire.

The men fled at a high rate of speed and and officers pursued them until it ended when the suspects car crashed into a bean field near Highway 44 and Carpenter Road in Caledonia. The men ran from their vehicle into the field, but eventually surrendered, according to the release.

One of the men was injured during the incident and was taken by ambulance to Gundersen Medical Center, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released. He has been booked into the La Crosse County Jail on probable cause attempted murder, the release said.

The uninjured suspect is in the Houston County Jail on probable cause attempted murder with charges expected within the next few days.

No officers were injured and both are on standard administrative leave, according to the release.

The La Crescent Police Department does not use body cameras, but squad cameras did capture the shooting incident.

The investigation will continue with the BCA and when it is complete, all findings will be turned over to the Houston County Attorney's Office for review, the release said.


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