WAITE PARK -- A man with a felony warrant wanted by police in connection with several alleged crimes at Crossroads Center Wednesday is dead after an apparent suicide.

Officials say police originally responded to a report of an assault at an unnamed store in the mall around 11:45 a.m. When they arrived, officers determined three men had been inside a store when one reportedly stole an item. An employee of the store tried to take a photo when one of the suspects punched him in the face. The suspects then fled on foot.

At just before noon, a Stearns County sheriff’s deputy apprehended a man matching the suspect’s description in the 10 block of Waite Avenue in Waite Park. Officers say the man, who initially provided them with a fake name, was found to have a warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm. When officers advised the man he was under arrest, he fled on foot.

Officers lost sight of the suspect during a foot chase, and set up a perimeter and called for help from a K9 unit. At around 12:50 p.m., the K9 track led officers to a shed behind a home in the 10 Block of Cherry Street in Waite Park.

As officers approached, they heard what sounded like a gunshot coming from inside the shed. Officials say the officers could not see the suspect, and never discharged their firearms.

Officers cleared the shed with the K9 and found the man with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was recovered in the shed.

Officers provided emergency medical care on scene. The man was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital by Mayo Ambulance where he later died.

Officials say a store surveillance video shows the same man had assaulted the store employee.

The scene was secured by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will conduct an investigation, and the body of the deceased man will be taken to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Officer for autopsy. His name has not been released.

The Waite Park Police Department also responded and assisted during the incident.

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