NATIONAL NEWS

North Dakota police say 1 officer died, 2 injured in shooting that also left suspect dead in Fargo

Jul 14, 2023, 4:38 PM | Updated: 10:50 pm

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — One police officer died and two others were critically injured in a shooting in Fargo, North Dakota, that also killed the suspect on Friday, police said.

The shooting happened before 3 p.m. on a busy street. Multiple witnesses said a man opened fire on police officers before other officers shot the suspect.

In a statement late Friday, police said a civilian also was seriously wounded.

Police did not provide information about a possible motive or circumstances leading to the shooting. The identities of the slain officers and the suspect were withheld pending notification of their families.

The Fargo Police Department said the investigation is ongoing.

“We sincerely are asking for your patience and our community’s patience and understanding as the Fargo Police Department works through this incident,” Gregg Schildberger, Fargo chief communications officer, said Friday evening.

More details will be released at a press conference scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Fargo City Hall, Schildberger said.

“This is very difficult on all of us. We are releasing as much information as we can at this point,” Schildberger said. “We appreciate all the messages from the community that have been given to us in support of our officers.”

Sanford Medical Center Fargo spokesperson Paul Heinert said in an email that the hospital “did receive patients stemming from today’s shooting incident in Fargo.” He said updates on their conditions would come from the Fargo police.

Police said there was no known threat to the public. But after the shooting, officers converged on a residential area about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away and evacuated residents as they gathered evidence they said was related to the shooting.

Witnesses reported seeing and hearing gunshots in the area. Shannon Nichole told KFGO Radio she was driving in the area at the time.

“I saw the traffic stop and as soon as I drove, shots were fired and I saw the cops go down,” Nichole said. “My airbag went off and the bullet went through my driver’s door.”

A man grabbed her and said they needed to get out of the area, Nichole said.

Chenoa Peterson said she was driving with her 22-year-old daughter when a man pulled out a gun and began firing at police.

“He proceeds to aim it and you just hear the bullets go off, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God! He’s shooting,’” she told The Associated Press.

Peterson’s first instinct was to pull over and try to help, but her daughter convinced her to leave. “It’s weird knowing that if you were 10 seconds earlier you could have been in that,” she said.

Bo Thi was working alone at a nail salon near where police reported the shooting when she heard what sounded like fireworks or a motorcycle backfiring. She said gunshots didn’t cross her mind at the time.

Surveillance video provided by Fargo resident Allison Carlson captured the rapid sounds of gunfire.

North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley said the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation was working with federal, state and local law enforcement in response to a “shooting incident” but provided no details of what happened.

Police and other agencies across the region posted their sympathies for Fargo police on Facebook.

“Thinking of our brothers and sisters in Fargo,” a post from the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police said.

The Glenwood Fire Department in Minnesota posted, “Please keep the blue lights shining to show our support of not only our local law enforcement, but also those affected by todays events!”

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Ballentine reported from Columbia, Missouri. Associated Press writers Lisa Baumann in Bellingham, Washington, and Alina Hartounian in Phoenix contributed to this report.

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