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Boy shoots self during high-speed chase in Beltrami County

BEMIDJI, MINN. - A 17-year-old boy shot himself during an early-morning police pursuit Thursday in Beltrami County, according to a press release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office.

The boy, who has not been identified, is being treated at North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis, according to the press release.

The incident, which began as a routine traffic stop at about 2:15 a.m. on the Highway 2 bypass, escalated when "a long rifle was pointed out of the driver's window at the deputy" when he approached the suspect vehicle, the press release said. The suspect then fled the scene, and the deputy gave chase.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and Bemidji Police Department took part in the high-speed chase, which ended about 8 miles west of Bemidji when the suspect drove off of the roadway and struck a railroad bed, the press release said.

The suspect was taken into custody and officers found that the boy had apparently shot himself with the rifle, the press release said.

First aid was administered by officers until emergency medical personnel arrived on scene, the press release said. The suspect was transported to North Country Regional Hospital and then transferred via Life Flight Helicopter to North Memorial.

An investigation is continuing.

The Bemidji Pioneer and DL Newspapers are both owned by Forum Communications Co.