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Shooting is still under investigation

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Dickinson, 58602
The Dickinson Press
(701) 225-4205 customer support
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

DICKINSON - The Dickinson Police Department has stated that no further information about a shooting that occurred this past Tuesday is to be released until a next week.

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Investigations Lt. Rick Shirey stated Friday that authorities continue to investigate the matter, which ended in an unnamed police officer shooting Joel Henry Wetzel in the torso.

Shirey added authorities still have not interviewed Joel Henry Wetzel.

"He's still in the hospital," Shirey said. "Investigators are waiting until he is in better condition to talk."

Wetzel's condition is part of the reason authorities are refusing to give further details of the situation.

"We still need to talk to him," Shirey said. "We're hoping to have the investigation into the officer involved wrapped up very soon, but talking to him (Wetzel) is going to be part of that."

Wetzel apparently broke into Patricia Ann Ewoniuk's home early Tuesday morning and shot her roommate Arnold Sickler in the leg.

Shirey said Ewoniuk and Wetzel had been friends, but he is still unsure of how long the friendship took place or how close of a relationship existed between the two individuals.

The relationship between Wetzel and Sickler is also unclear, although they seem to have been acquainted.

"I believe they all knew each other," Shirey said.

Wetzel spent time in prison for a manslaughter conviction in 1994. The crime was committed in 1993 in Brighton Colo., and was classified as passion provoked and a second degree assault.

Shirey said Wetzel's prior conviction has prompted authorities to take further action.

"What we are also going to be looking at is a referral to BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) on whether he was prohibited from possessing firearms as he had a prior felony conviction," Shirey said. "Being an ex-felon, you are prohibited from using firearms."

Shirey added while he believes Ewoniuk has lived in Dickinson for several years, Wetzel has apparently lived in various locations throughout the U.S. Shirey was unsure about how long Sickler has lived in the area.

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