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Fargo police shoot car theft suspect

 A Fargo police officer shot a 31-year-old suspect in a car theft Monday morning after police say he pointed a weapon at the officer that turned out to be a BB gun.

The man shot by police shortly after 3 a.m. was taken to Essentia Hospital, David Todd, Fargo's interim police chief, said at a Monday morning news conference. His condition isn't immediately known. Police didn't release his name at the news conference.  

Todd said a Fargo officer had joined a chase that was already in progress by West Fargo police of a car that was headed the wrong way down 13th Avenue South. The vehicle had been reported stolen in Bottineau, N.D., and deputies from Traill and Cass counties had chased the man earlier in the night before calling off the pursuit. 

The car chase ended near Pizza Hut on 47th Avenue, when a man and a woman jumped out of the vehicle and took off on foot in opposite directions.

Todd said the man approached his officer, and the officer and the suspect began to circle the officer's squad car. The man pointed the BB gun at the officer, Todd said. That's when the officer fired what police think are three rounds at the man, Todd said.

The officer believed the man's weapon, which had been initially reported as being a gun with a laser sight, was a real handgun, Todd said. Police released an image of the BB gun at the news conference. 

The woman, Jennifer Stegman, 31, of Grand Forks, was arrested and is being held on suspicion of refusing to halt.

The officer's name is expected to be released later today, once he's had a chance to notify his family, Todd said.

Agents from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation will investigate whether the shooting was warranted.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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