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Williston standoff suspect identified

WILLISTON -- A man accused of shooting at officers during a standoff here Thursday was identified Friday as 59-year-old Ernest Schroeder.

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Schroeder on suspicion of reckless endangerment, according to a news release from Williston Police Sgt. Detective David Peterson on Friday. Schroeder is being held in the Williams County Jail.

Williams County property tax records show that Schroeder owns the home at 407 W. Broadway, where police responded to a 911 call at 2:34 p.m. Thursday after a woman in the home reported hearing a gunshot in the basement.

When officers arrived at the scene, a gunshot was heard from inside the residence, Peterson said.

The suspect then shot a rifle out the front door of the home in the direction of officers and officers returned fire, wounding Schroeder, Peterson said.

Schroeder eventually surrendered and was transported for medical treatment. No other injuries were reported.

Schroeder has several misdemeanor convictions from Williston Municipal Court and Williams County District Court between 2006 and 2010. In 2009, Schroeder pleaded guilty in Williston Municipal Court to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to unsupervised probation.

During the standoff Thursday, officers from Williston police, Williams County Sheriff's Office, North Dakota Highway Patrol and the BCI cleared the neighborhood or told people to wait inside their homes. No other injuries were reported.

A woman who answered the door at the residence Friday declined to comment.

Amy Dalrymple

Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at or (701) 580-6890.