The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 26, 2014

Deaths of suspects in shooting were murder-suicide

ST. PAUL (AP) — The two North Dakota residents involved in a shootout that wounded a Minnesota sheriff's deputy died later in a murder-suicide, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Wednesday.

Investigators believe 24-year-old Devin Blowers shot and killed 29-year-old Katie Christopherson, then shot and killed himself, the agency said.

The bodies of the two Fargo, N.D., residents were found after Douglas County Deputy Dustin Alexander, who was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, was shot in the chest Monday night while checking a suspicious vehicle near Alexandria in west-central Minnesota.

Alexander had gotten identification from Christopherson and Blowers and briefly returned to his squad car, the BCA said. When the deputy returned to the suspects' vehicle a second time, Blowers shot Alexander, striking him in his vest, a preliminary investigation found. The deputy returned fire, and the suspects fled in their car but became stuck in the snow and ran away.

About four hours later, law officers found Blowers and Christopherson dead near an outbuilding. A handgun and a shotgun were found near their bodies.

Alexander, who has been with the sheriff's office for three years and is a member of the Douglas County SWAT team, was treated at a hospital and released. He is on standard administrative leave.

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