INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A northern Minnesota man who entered a convenience store illegally and set a fire earlier this month died of smoke inhalation, authorities said.
Preliminary toxicology screenings show Colton Tammi, 26, had amphetamines in his system and a blood alcohol level of .20, which is more than twice the legal limit, according to the Koochiching County medical examiner.
In a statement Friday, the sheriff's office released more details about the Jan. 13 break-in and fire at Y Knot Quick Stop gas station at Pelland Junction, southwest of International Falls.
Authorities said a Koochiching County sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle in a ditch just west of the gas station. The vehicle was empty, and a tow truck was called. While waiting for the tow truck, the deputy went to get gas at the Y Knot station.
Around the same time, dispatchers received a call from Tammi, who according to authorities said he could see a deputy and would shoot him if he came inside the store. They said Tammi didn't disclose his location, so dispatchers alerted all on-duty deputies about the call.
Dispatchers then received a hang-up call, which was traced to the Y Knot. Deputies surrounded the store as dispatchers had intermittent calls with Tammi. Authorities said he told dispatchers he was armed and that he threatened to shoot responding officers.
Shortly before midnight, Tammi told dispatchers he was pouring gas and oil inside the store and was going to light a fire, according to authorities. The sheriff's office said deputies saw him light the store on fire and he refused orders to leave the business.
His body was found inside after the fire was put out.
The vehicle found in the ditch was believed to have been operated by Tammi. The sheriff's office said the owner of the vehicle confirmed Tammi had access to it.
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