Man shoots ex-wife, kills self in Pine County

Published 9:28 am Friday, December 7, 2012

BROOK PARK — A woman shot and wounded by her ex-husband before he took his own life was able to escape by barricading herself in the bathroom and texting her neighbor for help, a Pine County sheriff’s official said Thursday.

The woman was shot in the upper chest by her ex-husband at her home in Brook Park Wednesday about 9 p.m., Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said.

Deputies from the Pine County and Chisago County Sheriff’s Department responded, established a perimeter around the house and tried repeatedly to reach the woman by phone, but got no response.

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At one point, the man came out of the residence, stood on the front deck, then went back inside, ignoring deputies’ commands. A short time later his vehicle was found parked about a quarter mile away from the home, authorities said.

Blackwell said SWAT team members busted into the house with a flash-bang device to rescue the woman.

“We didn’t know if he (shooter) was in there or not,” the chief deputy said. The victim was removed and rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth where she was in serious condition.

Tactical officers searched the house and found the suspect in the living room where he was holding a pistol to his head, sheriff’s officials said.

For the next two hours sheriff’s negotiators tried to convince the man to surrender. Blackwell said negotiators, protected tactical shields, were about 10 feet from the suspect who eventually pulled the trigger and ended his life.

Blackwell said the woman had visited the sheriff’s department several weeks ago to inquire about a restraining order.

“Her ex would show up at the house, bang on the door, bang on the windows” and threaten her, Blackwell said. She was in the process of getting legal help, he said.