ROLLA, N.D. -- Rolette County Sheriff’s Deputy Colt Eugene Allery was fatally shot and two other deputies are on paid administrative leave after a vehicle chase turned deadly Wednesday.
Rolette County Sheriff Gerald Medrud said Allery, 29, had been working with the department for about three months. He previously worked for the Rolla Police Department and as a tribal police officer before joining the Sheriff’s Department.
In addition, an unnamed suspect was killed after law enforcement engaged with the driver of a pickup, reported stolen to authorities by OnStar, which provides services such as navigation, roadside assistance and anti-theft features to users. Medrud said authorities do not know the name of the suspect.
The department received calls overnight inquiring about the identity, but possible tips didn’t confirm the suspect’s name, Medrud said.
Law enforcement received the call from OnStar at 6:10 p.m. stating the vehicle was reported stolen in Devils Lake, and GPS tracking showed it traveling toward Rolette County.
The shooting on a rural gravel road near Belcourt was reported about 40 minutes later.
Prior to the shooting, chase speeds reached 85 to 90 mph, Medrud said, and OnStar slowed down the vehicle to less than 5 mph prior to deputies engaging the suspect.
A fight ensued and it appears all the officers fired shots, Medrud said.
Allery and the shooter were pronounced dead at the scene.
The two surviving deputies and a Rolla Police officer have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard operating procedure. The sheriff’s department normally has nine deputies.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the case, and will need about 30 days to forward findings to prosecutors for review, said Mark Sayler, chief agent with the BCI.
“It will take some time to complete that full investigation,” Sayler said.
The deceased have been taken to Grand Forks for autopsies. A vigil is planned in Rolla at 7 p.m.
Other details of the confrontation were not made public, including the number of shots fired, how many times each person was struck and who fired the fatal shots.
Medrud said he couldn’t release more personal details about Allery due to Marsy’s Law.
In addition, the sheriff said he hasn’t talked to the surviving deputies, who have been allowed to return to their homes.
“From what I see, they followed protocol,” Medrud said.
Both the deputy and suspect were dead at the scene, he said.
It was the first death in the line of duty in Rolette County. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the deputy’s shooting death was North Dakota’s 32nd. In all, 57 law enforcers have been killed in the line of duty in the state, the website says.
The last law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty was Fargo Police Officer Jason Moszer, who was responding Feb. 10, 2016, to a domestic disturbance. The incident escalated into an eight-hour standoff with Marcus Schumacher, 49, who opened fire on officers. Moszer, 33, died the next day from a gunshot wound.
Schumacher killed himself after a police sharpshooter wounded him.
The most recent North Dakota sheriff’s deputy killed was Benson County Deputy Valence LeeWayne Pascal, who was fatally shot in 1993, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.