GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer's adult son Ian facing manslaughter and other charges after killing deputy in police pursuit

 December 8, 2023

Ian Cramer, the adult son of Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), is in serious trouble and facing multiple criminal charges, including manslaughter, after he killed a sheriff's deputy during a high-speed pursuit on Wednesday, according to the Daily Wire.

Cramer, 42, who suffers from mental health issues, is alleged to have stolen his mother Kris Cramer's SUV when she took him to a hospital and then led police on a chase that ended when he crashed into a parked patrol vehicle and killed the deputy who had been standing behind it.

Multiple criminal charges filed

According to local news outlet KVLY, the North Dakota Republican senator's son was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court on Friday to face the array of criminal charges against him that stemmed from the incident on Wednesday.

The charges against Ian Matthew Cramer include manslaughter, reckless endangerment, preventing arrest, fleeing a peace officer, and driving on a suspended license.

Cramer's criminal acts resulted in the death of Mercer County Sheriff's Deputy Paul Martin, 53, who was an 18-year veteran of the law enforcement agency and who left behind a grieving wife and three children.

Struck a patrol vehicle and killed deputy standing behind it

Local outlet KFYR reported that the incident began Wednesday afternoon when Bismark Police received an initial report about a stolen vehicle being driven by the senator's son, who had reportedly stolen the vehicle and fled from the Sanford Hospital's emergency room entrance.

Cramer was eventually located in Mercer County and a high-speed pursuit ensued but ended a short time later when the stolen SUV veered toward and crashed into a parked and unoccupied Mercer County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle that had its emergency lights on and behind which was standing Deputy Martin.

Martin had reportedly been using the parked patrol vehicle on the side of the road as cover while he prepared to deploy a "tire deflation device" to end the chase but instead was struck and killed by his own vehicle in the collision that Cramer caused.

Following the deadly incident, Cramer was taken into custody and was first transported to a nearby hospital for treatment before he was transferred to the McLean County Detention Center while the North Dakota Highway Patrol opened an investigation.

The outlet noted that as the investigation proceeds, it is possible that additional criminal charges could be filed against Cramer.

Sen. Cramer addresses the situation

Wednesday night, Sen. Cramer issued a statement and 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," he continued. "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."

The senator said he would "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," Cramer added. "We also ask God for healing for Ian. We love him and hurt deeply."

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