Man charged in Isanti County pursuit that left 1 suspect dead, K-9 wounded

Joseph William Heroff Photo: Anoka County Jail. Joseph William Heroff

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: February 23, 2021 03:51 PM
Created: February 23, 2021 01:06 PM

A man has been charged in connection to a carjacking and pursuit in Isanti County on Sunday that ended with one suspect dead and a K-9 injured.

Court records show 26-year-old Joseph William Heroff is charged with one count of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count of fleeing police.

According to a criminal complaint, at 12:57 p.m., Blaine police officers were called about a shoplifting incident at a Kohl's store in the city. While en route, officers learned two male suspects were leaving the parking lot in a white Jeep Compass. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle as it fled into a Menards parking lot but the vehicle continued until officers used a PIT maneuver.

K-9 shot, suspect dead after pursuit in Isanti County

With the Jeep stopped, the suspects then ran across a frozen drainage pond before carjacking a truck and driving north on Highway 65, the complaint states. A pursuit ensued until the truck was disabled near Braham. Officers said shots were then fired, and bullets hit a law enforcement K-9 and one of the suspects.

Heroff was taken into custody but the other suspect was pronounced dead. That suspect hasn't yet been identified.

The complaint states Heroff told officers that the other suspect decided to shoplift while they were at Kohl's and he tried to dissuade the suspect from stealing before going outside to wait in their car. A little while later, the other suspect ran out of the store with a cart full of items that he began shoving in their car.

K-9 recovering after being shot during pursuit in Isanti County

Heroff said he was the driver at that point and began driving away to flee from law enforcement. After their vehicle was disabled and as they were running away, Heroff said the other suspect then pulled out a gun on the two people in a pickup truck and ordered them to get out. Heroff said he then got in the passenger seat of the truck and they drove off.

The man in the truck told officers he and his 9-year-old daughter were waiting in the truck for a birthday party that was about to start when Heroff and the other man approached them, pointed a gun and demanded they get out.

Heroff made his first court appearance on Tuesday and had his bail set at $500,000 without conditions. His next court appearance is set for March 15. He remains in custody in Anoka County Jail.

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