High-speed chase results in suspect death

ST JAMES — A high-speed chase involving a stolen car led to a man being killed in St. James in an officer-involved shooting.

Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the Wednesday afternoon confrontation that ended with Gilberto Salas, 20, of Gaylord dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

A high-speed chase started that morning when Nicollet County Sheriff’s Deputies spotted a silver 2011 Dodge Journey that was reported stolen from the 1300 block of 5th Street North just after 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Salas led officers on a roughly 40-mile chase south on Highway 15 from Lafayette to Highway 14 going east.

Cutting south, the chase turned onto County Road (CR) 21 and east on CR 25 before returning to Highway 14.

Upon reaching the outskirts of North Mankato, Salas turned onto CR 6, then south on CR 41 following that to Judson Bottom Road, which he took all the way to Judson.

In Judson, officers matched the suspect’s description to one in the stolen car report, identifying him as Salas, Nicollet County Sheriff David Lange said.

Sheriff deputies from Nicollet, Blue Earth and Brown Counties and officers from New Ulm and North Mankato Police Departments and the Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) participated in the chase.

For safety reasons, officers called off the chase. Approximately 30 minutes later Salas was spotted in St. James.

Officers followed the vehicle until Salas crashed into a snow bank and fled on foot. He fled into a business on the 600 block of 2nd Avenue South. KEYC reported that the suspect hid inside the office of a nearby Casey’s gas station.

After entering the building, officers used multiple taser rounds on Salas, according to the press release. One officer then shot him.

Salas was taken to the Mayo Clinic in St. James where he was pronounced dead. Members of the St. James Police Department, Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office and MSP made up the team that entered the gas station.

One officer suffered a non-life threatening wound and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was treated and released. The officer who shot Salas is on standard administrative leave.

A knife was recovered from the scene, though the press release does not clarify how it relates to the standoff.

No body cameras were worn and no dash cameras captured the shooting, according to the press release.

Additional information and names of officers involved and further details are expected Friday as the BCA wraps up the first round of interviews, according to the press release.

Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at ccummiskey@nujournal.com.

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