At 8:39 pm on January 15, 2022, a Willmar Police Officer conducted a traffic stop on a tan Jeep in the 100 block of High Ave NE. As the vehicle stopped the driver exited the Jeep, produced a handgun and fired one shot at the officer as he fled on foot. The officer was unharmed and immediately radioed for assistance. Additional officers arrived in the area and set up a perimeter to try and contain the suspect and prevent his escape.

Officers attempted to track the suspect through the neighborhood using a drone and the Minnesota State Patrol helicopter. In doing so, officers focused their efforts on several different buildings where the suspect may have hidden.

At approximately 12:02 am, officers found that an unattached garage in the 100 block of Ella Ave NE may have been entered. A short time later a suspect was found inside the garage by utilizing a remote robotic camera. The suspect refused to comply with officers and SWAT teams utilized chemical agents (tear gas) and a vehicle mounted ram to take the suspect into custody. The suspect was found to be suffering from various self-inflicted injuries and was transported to Carris Health – Rice Memorial Hospital by ambulance. A firearm was recovered from the scene. At the time of this news release the suspect was still receiving treatment at the hospital.

The suspect has been identified as Esteban Ramos Jr, age 36, last known address of Raymond, MN. Ramos was found to have an outstanding federal firearms warrant and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant from Lyon County. Pending new charges may include 2nd degree assault, felon in possession of a firearm and fleeing a police officer.

Assisting the Willmar Police Department was the Willmar Police Department SWAT team, Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, Kandi / Meeker SWAT team, Kandi / Meeker STAT (medic) team, Minnesota State Patrol, Benson Police Department and CentraCare EMS.

No officers were injured. Temperatures were near zero requiring additional resources and officers to perform various duties.

(JP Cola, KWLM)