Mercer County Sheriff’s deputy killed in crash; son of Senator Kevin Cramer facing charges

(Bismarck, ND) – A Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy is dead and a Bismarck man is behind bars after a pursuit led to a crash in Mercer County.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol says Bismarck Police received a report of a stolen vehicle Wednesday night. The vehicle, a 2017 Black Chevy Tahoe, was being driven by Ian Cramer of Bismarck.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office located Cramer and the 2017 Black Chevy Tahoe in Hazen. When law enforcement approached Cramer, he fled in the vehicle and a pursuit ensued. During the pursuit, the vehicle Cramer was driving veered and crashed head-on into an unoccupied Mercer County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle that was parked on a roadside approach. The Sheriff’s Office vehicle was displaying its emergency lights at the time.

A Mercer County Deputy was standing outside and behind the patrol vehicle when it was struck. The impact of the crash pushed the patrol vehicle into the deputy, killing him. At the time the deputy was preparing to deploy a tire deflation device in attempt to end the pursuit. Cramer was taken into custody, transported to the Sakakawea Medical Center in Hazen, and then taken to the Mercer County Jail.

Flag Family Media has confirmed that the suspect, Cramer, is the son of North Dakota United States Senator, Kevin Cramer.

In a statement released late Wednesday night, Cramer said, “Earlier this evening, our 42-year-old son Ian was involved in a police chase which resulted in an accident that killed an officer. Ian suffers from serious mental disorders which manifest in severe paranoia and hallucinations. Kris was with Ian when he insisted on going to his brother Ike. Ike died in 2018. Kris took Ian to the Sanford Health emergency room in Bismarck. When she got out of our vehicle, Ian jumped into the driver’s seat and fled. Our daughter was able to track the car through Kris’ cell phone and lead officers to him in Mercer County, ND. We don’t have more details right now but will work with authorities to properly inform the public.”

Cramer continued, “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. We also ask God for healing for Ian. We love him and hurt deeply.”