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UPDATED: Mercer County deputy killed after vehicle pursuit

A Mercer County Sheriff’s deputy was killed while attempting to stop a man who was fleeing from law enforcement.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol had a report of a stolen vehicle from Bismarck – a 2017 Chevy Tahoe. It was bring driven by Ian Cramer of Bismarck – the son of US Senator Kevin Cramer.

In a statement, Sen. Cramer said Ian suffers from serious mental disorders, which cause severe paranoia and hallucinations. Cramer said his wife, Kris, had taken Ian to Sanford’s emergency room in Bismarck, and when Kris got out of the vehicle, Ian jumped into the driver’s seat. Bismarck police say Cramer allegedly rammed the doors of the ambulance bay and then took off.

Police said the vehicle was tracked by a cell phone that was still in the car. The Patrol says the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department located the car and driver in Hazen. When officers approached Cramer, he fled in the vehicle. The Tahoe veered and crashed head-on into an unoccupied sheriff’s patrol vehicle, parked on a roadside approach. The Patrol says a deputy was standing outside and behind the patrol car, when it was struck – but the impact of the crash pushed the patrol vehicle into the deputy – and he was killed.

Ian Cramer is in the Mercer County Jail in Stanton.

The incident remains under investigation.

Here is the statement from Sen. Cramer, issued Wednesday night:

“Earlier this evening, our 42-year-old son Ian was involved in a police chase which resulted in an accident that killed an officer. Ian suffers from serious mental disorders which manifest in severe paranoia and hallucinations. Kris was with Ian when he insisted on going to his brother Ike. Ike died in 2018. Kris took Ian to the Sanford Health emergency room in Bismarck. When she got out of our vehicle, Ian jumped into the driver’s seat and fled. Our daughter was able to track the car through Kris’ cell phone and lead officers to him in Mercer County, ND. We don’t have more details right now but will work with authorities to properly inform the public. I will take the first flight I can to be with our family as we grieve what has happened. We grieve especially for the family of the hero who tried to help Ian, and we pray for our gracious God to show up as He always does in tragedy. We ask the public for prayers for the lost officer’s family and colleagues who serve us every day and are grateful for all they do for us. We also ask God for healing for Ian. We love him and hurt deeply.”

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