A motorist who fled police in Meeker County early Saturday morning is dead after shootout with a police officer.
The incident unfolded around 2:20 a.m. when an Eden Valley police officer attempted to pull over a driver for an undisclosed traffic violation. The driver fled west on Highway 55 and the officer pursued until the driver crashed into a ditch about a mile west of Eden Valley, according to the Meeker County Sheriff's Office.
"The driver and lone occupant of the vehicle exited the vehicle and at one point there was an exchange of gunfire. The driver was shot and the officer immediately started life saving measures," the sheriff's report says.
The driver, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has been taken to the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office for identification and to determine an official cause and manner of death.
The sheriff's office says a handgun was recovered at the scene.
Eden Valley police do not have body cameras, but a dash camera on the officer's squad vehicle was operating throughout the incident.
Meeker County deputies, Stearns County deputies, Litchfield police, Watkins ambulance and LifeLink III all responded to the scene. The investigation is now being led by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. No further information has been released.
As of 11:35 a.m., MnDOT is reporting that Highway 55 between 602nd Avenue and Park Avenue West (Eden Valley) is closed.
Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.