On February 18, 2009 in Mahnomen, Minnesota — a town 60 miles Northeast of Fargo — Deputy Chris Dewey answered his last call. The incident began with a report of a vehicle leaving the Shooting Star Casino at 4:00 a.m. The driver of the vehicle was reportedly intoxicated. Deputies found the unoccupied car near a house next to the Mahnomen County Court House.
At 6:30 a.m., another call was received — neighbors had heard shots in the same area as the vehicle. Deputies checked the area and again found no one around. Chris got out on foot to make contact with a witness. Instead he located two suspects. While he was talking with one male party the second one produced a firearm and shot Chris multiple times in the stomach and once in the head.
A minute after Chris called out that he was contacting a witness, a back-up officer tried unsuccessfully to reach Chris over the radio. The back-up officer found Chris shot and the two men then fled into a house. Chris was taken to the hospital and the two men — 32-year-old Thomas lee Fairbanks and 27-year-old David Kurt Vernier — surrendered to the SWAT team after a nine hour stand-off.
Chris and Emily had been married for a year and a half on February 18, 2009. Chris was late arriving home at the end of his shift so Emily, who is a nurse, had been home listening to the scanner, when she heard her husband’s life and death struggle play out for her over the radio.
Emily has been at Chris’s side throughout the incredible ordeal. She was hopeful just days after the shooting as it appeared Chris was recovering faster than expected. Doctors reported Chris would survive and his recovery was nothing less than miraculous.
It was not to be, however. After serious setbacks, unsuccessful surgeries, and finally an infection, Chris’s condition deteriorated. Finally, Deputy Dewey was given a police escort to the hospice, where he would live out his final days.
Monday, August 9, 2010, 18 months after Deputy Chris Dewey was shot in the line of duty his family released this statement. “Chris’s long and painful battle is over. At 10:33 a.m. he went peacefully with the Lord.”
Emily was by his side.
Deputy Chris Dewey has found peace. May his family find strength.