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Sheriff's deputy shot in Mahnomen; suspects holed up with weapons

A law enforcement officer prepares a weapon about two blocks away from the site of a standoff Wednesday in Mahnomen. Dave Wallis/The Forum1 / 3
Red River Valley Swat team members gather near the site of a standoff Wednesday morning in Mahnomen where a deputy sheriff was shot. Dave Wallis/The Forum2 / 3
A photo of Deputy Christopher Dewey, taken from his MySpace page.3 / 3

The City of Mahnomen looked like an armed camp Wednesday morning following the shooting of a Mahnomen County deputy.

The deputy, a 26-year-old, four-year veteran of the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Department, was listed in critical condition and in surgery at 11 a.m. at MeritCare hospital in Fargo. The shooting occurred about 7 a.m.

The Star Tribune newspaper reported that the deputy's name is Christopher Dewey.

The suspects -- believed to be armed with high-powered firearms, according to an officer on the scene -- were holed up in a house about three blocks west of the courthouse.

Some 40-50 squad cars, lights flashing, were parked in various positions in the street, starting near the house and going down several blocks of the quiet residential neighborhood.

Officers holding rifles crouched behind open car doors and behind vehicles facing the house. Further back, other officers changed into bullet proof vests and put on insulated coveralls and boots in the face of 20-below wind chills.

According to KFGO Radio, which covered a Mahnomen County Sheriff's Department news conference late Wednesday morning:

The incident started about 4 a.m. with reports of a drunk driver leaving the Shooting Star Casino. The car was found, unoccupied, near the courthouse in Mahnomen.

About 6:20 a.m., officers received a call of shots fired. Deputies investigated, but didn't find anything.

About 7:10 a.m. a deputy went to the home of a witness who had reported shots fired. When that deputy did not respond to radio calls from his partner, the partner went to the scene and found him lying in the witnesses' driveway. He had been shot numerous times.

After the shooting, the suspects ran to a residence across the street, where two people remained as of press time late Wednesday morning.

Earlier in the morning, they ignored police with a bullhorn ordering them to "come out with your hands up."

Law enforcement officers responding to the scene included Becker County deputies, tribal police, Clearwater County deputies, state troopers, conservation officers, and city police officers and deputies from around the region. Swat teams from the Minnesota Crime Bureau and Clay and Cass counties were also on hand.

A reporter witnessed officers obtaining a room layout of the house from a young man who lives about two blocks away and was familiar with the house.

The young man told a reporter that "my brother shot a cop." The man said the suspects wanted to surrender, but were afraid they'd be shot by officers when they left the house. He said his brother wanted him to come over and lead the suspects out of the house.

The man left with officers, but then returned about 10 minutes later.

He said the suspects had been drinking.

Check the Detroit Lakes Newspapers Web site,, for updates as they become available.