Police officer killed, 2 others injured, suspect dead in North Dakota shooting
Jul 15, 2023, 2:44 PM | Updated: 2:45 pm
(WDAY-TV via AP)
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — One police officer was killed and two others were critically wounded in a shooting on a busy street in Fargo, North Dakota, that also left the suspect dead, police said. A witness told The Associated Press that she saw a car crash and police standing around before gunfire broke out.
A civilian also was seriously wounded in the shooting that happened just before 3 p.m. Friday, police said in a late-night statement that provided no details about how the shooting unfolded or a possible motive. Several people said they saw a man open fire on officers before other officers shot him.
Chenoa Peterson told The Associated Press that she saw a car crash and police standing around as she was driving with her 22-year-old daughter. Then 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!’”
Peterson’s first instinct was to pull over and try to help, but having her daughter there convinced her to leave. “It’s weird knowing that if you were 10 seconds earlier you could have been in that,” she said.
One woman said she was driving when she saw the officers fall.
“I saw the traffic stop and as soon as I drove, shots were fired and I saw the cops go down,” Shannon Nichole told KFGO Radio. “My airbag went off and the bullet went through my driver’s door.”
Surveillance video provided by Fargo resident Allison Carlson captured the rapid sounds of gunfire.
The Fargo Police Department said the investigation was ongoing. Authorities have not yet released the names of the officers or the suspect, pending notification of their families.
The #Fargo Police Department Releases Names of Those Involved in July 14 Critical Incident.
As standard protocol, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are conducting the investigations.
— Fargo Police (@FargoPolice) July 15, 2023
Fargo police planned to provide more details at a news conference on Saturday afternoon, said Gregg Schildberger, the city’s chief communications officer.
“This is very difficult on all of us,” Schildberger said. “We appreciate all the messages from the community that have been given to us in support of our officers.”
Adam Dakak watched investigators for several hours after the shooting. He said police put up caution tape and marked shell casings with flags behind a rear-ended car in the parking lot of a small brick office building. The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service arrived at one point, he said.
“It just really hurt to see that because you don’t expect to see that type of stuff in Fargo,” Dakak told the AP.
By Saturday, flowers had been placed on the street where much of the investigation was focused a day earlier. A roll of bandage wrap also was on the ground.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said he was “heartbroken” by the shooting. Burgum, a Republican who is also running for president, said it was a “tragic reminder that our law enforcement officers risk their lives every day for our safety and deserve our unwavering gratitude and support.”
U.S. Sen. Jon Hoeven expressed condolences to the family of the slain officer and said he and his wife were praying for those who were injured.
Police initially said little about the shooting, calling it only a “critical incident” for nine hours. Early details emerged from people who said they witnessed the shooting or heard gunshots. Shortly after the shooting, officers converged on a residential area about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away and evacuated residents while gathering what they said was related evidence.
Ballentine reported from Columbia, Missouri. Associated Press writers Lisa Baumann in Bellingham, Washington, and Alina Hartounian in Phoenix contributed to this report.