Officers guarding high-speed chase suspect at Altru Hospital
GRAND FORKS - A 23-year-old man accused of leading officers on several high-speed chases, shooting at a North Dakota trooper and stealing at least three vehicles—one with an infant inside it—is being guarded at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks while being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Traill County Sheriff Steve Hunt said his office was providing security at the hospital for Daniel Michael Two Hearts, who shot himself in the chest during a standoff Friday night in a downtown Devils Lake apartment building. Hunt and other agencies contacted by the Herald said they didn't know Two Hearts' condition, and Altru said it could not release information on him because there is a pending investigation.
The Devils Lake standoff was the culmination of a crime spree that authorities said began Thursday night near Grand Forks.
State Trooper Eric Rumple attempted to stop Two Hearts on Interstate 29 south of Grand Forks, for a loud exhaust noise, according to a news release. Rumple chased the vehicle, which at times exceeded 100 mph, to south of Hillsboro, N.D., about 40 miles south of Grand Forks, where the Traill County Sheriff's Department deployed spike strips, according to the release.
Two Hearts exited the vehicle and shot at Rumple but missed, according to the release. Rumple did not return fire, and officers said Two Hearts fled on foot before later stealing a car with an infant inside in Hillsboro, according to the release.
Officers deployed another set of spike strips on County Road 81 east of Reynolds, N.D., about 20 miles north of Hillsboro, stopping Two Hearts. He fled on foot, according to the release, but the infant was found safe.
Sometime between 11:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. Friday, Two Hearts stole a 2005 Ford Taurus in Reynolds before ditching it in Northwood, N.D., about 30 miles to the west, investigators said. There, he stole a third vehicle—a 2013 GMC Sierra—and drove it to the Devils Lake Wal-Mart, according to investigators.
He abandoned the vehicle and showed up at Locke Block apartments, where a standoff ensued Friday night, according to authorities. Officers were negotiating with Two Hearts to surrender when a gunshot went off.
Two Hearts was first taken to CHI St. Alexius Hospital in Devils Lake before being airlifted to Grand Forks. Robert Snell, who said he was Two Hearts' cousin, told the Herald the suspect had a punctured lung and fluid in his chest. Snell also said he has been told his cousin suffered frostbite after fleeing outdoors in cold temperatures during the chase.
Multiple agencies in northwest North Dakota responded to the incident. Hunt said his office is working with other agencies to help guard Two Hearts so his agency can properly patrol Traill County without being stretched too thin.
It's unclear where Two Hearts will be housed once released from the hospital into custody, but the Traill County jail is closed for renovations, Hunt said.
So far, Two Hearts has been charged with attempted murder, a Class a felony that carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. It's unclear if he'll be charged with other crimes, though Ramsey County State's Attorney Kari Agotness, whose jurisdiction covers Devils Lake, said she would release information on charges there if they come.
If Two Hearts is released from the hospital and no other charges are brought against him, he would appear in Traill County District Court.