The Bemidji Police Department says a verbal exchange preceded the shooting and car crash on a local street Wednesday evening, with investigators still searching for the suspects.
Authorities initially had few details about the incident, which occurred around 6 p.m. on the 600 block of 23rd Avenue Northwest. A witness reported several gunshots and saw a car crash into a utility pole before two males ran off, leaving bullet holes in buildings and a nearby vehicle.
Investigators now believe the entire incident began with a "verbal exchange" between the driver of a white BMW and two men walking nearby. According to the police department, during this exchange, both men on foot began to shoot at the individual in the vehicle.
The driver tried to flee and crashed into a utility pole, breaking it.
The two suspects on foot - one wearing a red sweatshirt and sweatpants, the other dressed in all black - then fled south.
Officers believe about 21 shots were fired in all. They hit the white BMW in multiple spots, struck other parked cars, and left holes in a nearby business.
While investigators have called it an isolated incident, they are still looking for tips, particularly any video that might exist of the encounter.
Tips can be submitted via www.CrimeStoppersMn.org, by calling 1-800-222-TIPS , or by using the P3 Tip Submit app. Tips submitted thought Crime Stoppers are anonymous, and submitters may qualify for a $1,000 reward.
Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.