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Officer-involved shooting leaves man dead after standoff in West Fargo

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West Fargo police officers walk to the scene of an officer-involved shooting that occurred Monday night, March 12, after a standoff on 11th Street West in West Fargo.David Samson / The Forum3 / 3

WEST FARGO – One man is dead and at least three police officers from the Fargo-Moorhead area are on paid administrative leave following a shooting in West Fargo on Monday night, March 12.

West Fargo Police Chief Heith Janke said the deceased man was the subject of a prior ongoing investigation leading up to the shooting.

Janke said a West Fargo officer tried to pull over the man for a violation Monday evening but he fled and a high-speed chase ensued through West Fargo.

During the pursuit, the suspect rammed a West Fargo police vehicle and eventually stopped in the 1000 block of 11th Street West, Janke said.

A CodeRED alert was issued and residents living within a quarter mile of 1003 11th St. W. were asked to shelter in place while authorities started negotiations. The suspect remained holed up in a truck, and Janke believed there were weapons in the vehicle. Janke added that the suspect did not live at the home.

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The suspect refused to comply with any commands, Janke said, and so the Red River Valley SWAT team took over negotiations.

At that time the suspect exited the vehicle, posing an imminent threat to officers, Janke said.

Shots were fired at 10:37 p.m. The suspect was taken in an ambulance to Sanford Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Janke said. The suspect’s identity was being withheld pending family notification.

Fargo Police Chief David Todd said two of his officers serving on the SWAT team would likely be on paid administrative leave. Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger said there would be one officer from his department on leave as well. No officers were injured in the shooting.

The scene of the shooting was one block south of Westside Elementary School, where there was a large police presence, including the SWAT team, North Dakota Highway Patrol and police officers from Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.

Cary Carr lives three houses down from where he saw a man inside a parked truck yelling out the window at officers with guns drawn. Carr said initially four squad cars were surrounding the truck and that the law enforcement persence grew from that point.

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting the investigation.

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Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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