The son of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., was charged with manslaughter in connection with the police pursuit of a stolen vehicle that ultimately resulted in the death of a sheriff’s deputy.
On Thursday, authorities identified Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Martin, 53, as the deputy killed in the crash.
According to online records, 42-year-old Ian Cramer was charged with felony counts of manslaughter, fleeing a police officer and reckless endangerment, as well as a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license.
He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Friday.
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According to a press release from the Bismark Police Department, deputies responded to the Sanford Hospital at 4:30 p.m regarding reports of damage to an overhead door in the ambulance bay.
Authorities said that Cramer’s mother, Kris, brought her son to the hospital after he was exhibiting “mental health issues.”
When the pair arrived, police said that Cramer fled from the hospital, stole his mother’s SUV and rammed the vehicle into the doors of the bay.
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When officers arrived at the scene, the 42-year-old had fled that scene, but a cellphone tracking device confirmed to police that he was still in the stolen car.
Authorities said that multiple agencies worked together to track Cramer, and he was eventually taken into custody.
Police said that during the pursuit, Cramer crashed into Sheriff’s deputy Martin’s car.
The 53-year-old sheriff’s deputy was immediately killed, authorities said.
Sen. Cramer said in a personal statement that his family grieves the loss of the deputy.
He also asked for prayers for healing for his son.
“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,” the senator wrote. “We also ask God for healing for Ian. We love him and hurt deeply.”
Sen. Cramer said that Ian, “suffers from severe mental disorders.”
The senator said that Ian “suffers from severe mental disorders which manifest in severe paranoia and hallucinations” and was with Kris, when he insisted on going to visit his brother Ike, who died in 2018.
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Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, issued a statement following the incident, thanking Martin’s “ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our community.”
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“The events in Mercer County last night are a stark reminder of the heroic actions of our law enforcement officials each and every day. This deputy made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our community, and Mikey and I send our sincerest condolences to the deputy’s loved ones and the entire Mercer County Sheriff’s Department,” Sen. Hoeven said. “We are praying for comfort and peace for all those impacted by this tragic event.”
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