UPDATED: Suspect identified in standoff; died of gunshot wound
ST. PAUL — Miquell David Deppa, a father to six children according to family, was identified by police as the suspect in a four-hour standoff with police at a Liberty Township home Wednesday.
The official identification came as a result of an autopsy performed at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office. That autopsy revealed Miquell Deppa died of a gunshot wound. Family in three states, including some in the Bemidji area, were still coming to grips with what they say was a completely unexpected event.
Mhegan Deppa, who said Miquell Deppa was her brother, told The Pioneer early Thursday that the 34-year-old had been “fighting a lot of demons for a lot of years.”
“Mike was a great guy,” she said.
Family on scene Wednesday at the home in which Miquell Deppa barricaded himself — 9203 Spencer Road NW — identified him as the gunman. Jeff Deppa, who was near the home throughout the standoff, said Miquell Deppa was his son, and that he suffered from anxiety issues. Jeff Deppa described his son as a kind and gentle person.
Police were called just before 5 p.m. on reports that Deppa was distraught, carrying a rifle and “making threats about killing himself or law enforcement,” according to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Deppa threatened to shoot law enforcement throughout the day, said Jill Oliveira of the BCA, and emerged from the home pointing his weapon at officers.
A deputy with the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, acting as a sniper with the Mississippi Headwaters Task Force SWAT team, was forced to shoot Miqull Deppa, police said, after he emerged from the home and pointed his rifle at police. The BCA identified the deputy as Jeff Roberts, an eight-year veteran of the force. Roberts was placed on “standard administrative leave,” police said.
After being wounded, Deppa retreated into the house, but emerged a short time later when he was treated and transported to Fargo.
“I can tell you that he was not pronounced dead until he reached the hospital,” Oliveira said.
The BCA is investigating the shooting with assistance from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings to the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office for review. Other responding agencies include the Minnesota State Patrol, the DNR, the US Border Patrol, Headwaters SWAT Team, Bemidji Police Department, Paul Bunyan Task Force and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department.