Ian Cramer, the 42-year-old son of junior North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer, faces manslaughter charges following a police chase involving a stolen vehicle, which led to the death of Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Martin, aged 53.
The incident occurred after Cramer, exhibiting mental health issues, was brought to Sanford Hospital by his mother Kris. There, he fled, stealing his mother’s SUV and crashing it into the hospital’s ambulance bay doors, according to online records.
During the ensuing police pursuit, Cramer, still in the stolen vehicle, collided with Deputy Martin’s car, resulting in the deputy’s immediate death. Cramer has been charged with felony counts of manslaughter, fleeing a police officer, reckless endangerment and a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license, according to court records. His initial court appearance is scheduled for Friday.
Sen, Cramer, in a personal statement, expressed his family’s grief over the loss of Deputy Martin and requested prayers for his son’s healing.
“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.”
Cramer revealed that his son “suffers from severe mental disorders which manifest in severe paranoia and hallucinations.” He mentioned that while with his mother Kris Ian insisted on visiting his brother Ike, who died in 2018.
John Hoeven, who serves as senior U.S. senator for North Dakota, also issued a statement, acknowledging the sacrifice of Deputy Martin and extending condolences to his loved ones and colleagues.
“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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