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Fergus Falls man suspected of firing at wife's vehicle shoots self during police standoff

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A man suspected of shooting at his estranged wife's vehicle on Interstate 94 near Fergus Falls took his own life early Sunday, authorities say.

The officers-involved shooting came after police received a 911 call from the wife around 1:30 a.m. She said the man, identified as 52-year-old Richard David Blondeau, pulled up next to her in the passing lane on I-94 and fired a shotgun through his passenger window,the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release Monday.

The shot hit her vehicle on the driver's side door and trunk area. The suspect is said to have then followed the woman, firing two more shots, before he stopped pursuing her, the release says. That's when she called 911. She was not injured.

Officials from Ottertail County Sheriff's Department, Fergus Falls Police Department and Minnesota State Patrol began searching for the suspect, when they found his vehicle in a ditch near a farm field on I-94, just west of Fergus Falls.

The vehicle was unoccupied, so they set up a perimeter around the field and used a State Patrol helicopter with infrared technology to find the suspect, who was about a half-mile from the interstate.

The BCA's preliminary investigation found law enforcement converged on the suspect, who was armed with a shotgun.

Authorities originally reported that he ignored officers' requests to drop the weapon, was shot and declared dead at the scene; however, according to an updated news release, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officials had also said the four officers involved have been placed on standard administrative leave, which is usually standard procedure following an police-related shooting.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident that led to the shooting, while the BCA is looking into the subsequent officer-involved shooting. The BCA will then present its findings to the Otter Tail County Attorney’s Office for review.

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