Driver kills himself during traffic stop, leaves apology note for police

The incident happened on Sunday morning.
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A man shot himself dead during a traffic stop, and apologized to police in a note left in his car.

The incident happened east of Schroeder, around the Temperance River area of northeast Minnesota, at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

A deputy was attempting to pull a Jeep over for speeding, only for the driver to pull onto the shoulder and slow down, but not stop.

The driver, a 43-year-old man from Winsted, continued to proceed slowly, and as he was coming to a stop, pulled out a handgun which he turned on himself.

The deputy saw the driver's side window shatter, and when he went to investigate found the driver dead at the wheel.

The sheriff's office said the deputy also found "a quickly-written, brief note with contact information for family members ... and an apology to the police."

The man's identity hasn't been released yet, but his family has been notified. Police said it's not clear why he was in Cook County, but is believed to have been camping out in his Jeep for several days nearby.

"Today was a tragic day for all involved," said Sheriff Pat Eliasen in a press release.

Today's Top Stories

– I-35W ramp closures bring traffic woes to Minneapolis.

– Figures show a worrying rise in suicides in Minnesota.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters.

Figures released last week revealed that Minnesota has seen a rise in suicides of more than 40 percent between 1999 and 2016.

And concern over the future health of vulnerable people has risen in the past week with the announcement that Minnesota's only hotline linked to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Crisis Connection, will shut down at the end of the month amid funding problems.

If you or a loved one is experiencing depression or a suicidal crisis, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Also, each Minnesota county has an Adult Mental Health Crisis Response phone line. You can find them here.

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