Update 3: 4 dead in New Town shooting; man who killed himself with knife a person of interest
NEW TOWN - A woman and three children are dead after a shooting Sunday in New Town, said a pastor who knows the victims. The FBI has taken over the investigation, a Mountrail County dispatcher said this morning.
FBI spokesman Kyle Loven won't say whether a suspect might be in custody or might be dead, citing the ongoing investigation.
Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson says a New Town man who killed himself with a knife in Parshall on Sunday is considered a person of interest in the shootings, according to AP.
The FBI is handling the shooting investigations in connection with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Loven said.
Loven said he could not release additional details about the incidents, saying the investigation is "still fairly fluid."
"This is a very fresh investigation," Loven said. "We are confident there is no threat to the public at large."
The Sheriff's Office has yet to issue a press release for either incident.
Sheriff Ken Halvorson told the Minot Daily News the New Town deaths occurred at a residence and were reported about 3 p.m. Sunday. A grandmother, two boys and a girl are the victims, Halvorson told the newspaper.
The victim of the Parshall incident, which occurred about 8:30 p.m., is an adult male, Halvorson told the newspaper.
The shooting deaths of the woman and children were "very terrifying" and sad, not only for the family but the whole community, said the Rev. Grant Patterson, pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in New Town. He knows the victims, he said.
Marc Bluestone, superintendent of the public school in New Town, said he decided to call off classes for today because of "the tragedy in our community."
Although he has not been told anything by the sheriff, from what he's heard from neighbors and friends, the child victims were students in the school.
"In the best interests of our community and school, with the limited information we have, my decision is to call off school for (today)," he said.
Check back for more on this story and see tomorrow's Dickinson Press.