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BCA: Suspects, officers identified in Houston County shooting

BCA: Suspects, officers identified in Houston County shooting

La Crescent police officers Ryan Quanrud and Christopher Frick, who have been with the department for five and six years respectively, are on administrative leave, standard practice in such cases, the BCA said.

According to the complaint, on July 31 La Crescent police stopped a vehicle on Highway 16 near Miller's Corner for speeding.

Wyatt Helfrich of La Crosse is jailed in La Crosse County and likely will not fight extradition to Minnesota to face charges of felony assault and fleeing police when he returns to court Wednesday, his attorney said in court Tuesday.

Two 19-year-old men who engaged La Crescent police in a gunfight before fleeing at speeds up to 100 miles per hour face assault and attempted murder charges when they appear in Houston County District Court. Wallraff and Helfrich then fled the scene in their vehicle and continued to shoot at the squads throughout the pursuit, according to the BCA's preliminary investigation.

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During the chase, the statement said that Wallraff "shot multiple rounds" at the lead squad vehicle. Officers described that Helfrich would slow down to "lure" the police auto closer in an attempt to get a better shot at the police, the complaint said.

Their vehicle was later disabled by spike strips on Highway 44 near Caledonia. The suspect's auto hit the stop sticks and went into a ditch.

Other officers used stop sticks that led to Helfrich crashing the vehicle into a field near Sanden Road.

The two tried to run - leaving behind a shotgun, another rifle and ammunition - but soon surrendered.

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They grew nervous when they saw two officers early Monday at the Kwik Trip in La Crescent and loaded the firearms in the front seat before the traffic stop, according to the complaint. The officers returned fire and ran back into their vehicles. The chase ended when the suspects crashed into a bean field near Hwy.

Helfrich was taken to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse for wounds to the neck suffered during the incident.

PREVIOUS 8/1/2017: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension release an update on the investigation of the officer involved shooting in Houston County.

Wallraff was not injured and was taken into custody and booked into the Houston County Jail. The La Crescent Police Department doesn't own body cameras, but the squad cameras captured video of the shooting incident, according to the BCA.

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(ABC 6 News) - An officer involved shooting closes down roads in Houston County July 31st.


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