3 children, woman dead in New Town shootingA woman and three children are dead after a shooting Sunday in New Town in northwest North Dakota, according to a pastor who knows the victims and visited with family members. School has been canceled for today because the victims were students, said the local superintendent.
By: Stephen J. Lee, The Dickinson Press
A woman and three children are dead after a shooting Sunday in New Town, according to a pastor who knows the victims and visited with family members.
But the Mountrail County Sheriff’s Department in northwest North Dakota has not released much information except to acknowledge there was a shooting.
Sheriff Kenneth Halvorson was busy on the case Sunday evening and hadn’t yet issued a news release, a dispatcher said. But she said she’s telling people who call the office with questions and concerns to “use basic safety precautions,” although she could not confirm whether a shooter is still on the loose.
The event, which happened Sunday afternoon, was “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. But law enforcement has not told anyone who is responsible or if anyone is still poses a threat to public safety, he said Sunday evening.
The supervisor at the Cenex convenience store in New Town said she was told it happened about 2 p.m. on Sixth Street in the oil boom city of about 2,000 people that is 60 miles southwest of Minot.
New Town is the headquarters of the Fort Berthold Reservation of the Three Affiliated Tribes.
The Cenex store supervisor said she saw many law enforcement officers in town Sunday and they told her to make sure her employees were well acquainted with how to address an emergency. But they did not advise her to lock the store’s doors, she said.
Marc Bluestone, superintendent of the public school in New Town, said he decided to call off classes for Monday 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 tomorrow, “ he said.
The school has about 760 students in grades k-12, and about 130 employees, including teachers, he said.