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Bismarck man shot by police at softball field

BISMARCK -- A 49-year-old man was shot by Bismarck Police officers Monday night in the department's fourth officer-involved shooting this year. "We're all quite concerned about the number of police officer-involved shootings that we've had. There...

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Law enforcement officials on Tuesday morning investigate a Monday night shooting involving three Bismarck Police Department officer at Clem Kelly Softball Complex. (TOM STROMME/Bismarck Tribune)

BISMARCK -- A 49-year-old man was shot by Bismarck Police officers Monday night in the department's fourth officer-involved shooting this year.

"We're all quite concerned about the number of police officer-involved shootings that we've had. There's more this year than in any one year I can ever remember up to this point," said Sgt. Mark Buschena.  

Deputy Chief Dave Draovitch said Glenn Lovgren, 49, had "numerous wounds" from the late night incident at the Clem Kelly softball complex and was still in surgery Tuesday morning. No officers were injured.

Police said at a news conference Tuesday morning that the incident resembled an encounter with Lovgren in 2011. In both cases, Lovgren was shot by police after he allegedly said he had hostages and threatened officers. Further investigation showed Lovgren did not have a gun Monday night, and there were no hostages.

According to police, the incident began at 11:16 p.m. Monday, when someone called 911, said they had two hostages at gunpoint and disconnected. Officers responded to the address given by the caller. People at the address said nothing was going on.

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Meanwhile, dispatch pinged the cell phone from which the call was placed and located it about 700 feet away from the officers, Draovitch said. At the same time an officer saw someone in the shadows near the tennis courts, in roughly the same location as the cell phone.

Police said the person began yelling and took off running toward the area of softball diamond one, entering the dugout on the north side. The officer saw something in the man's hand, which apparently looked like a handgun wrapped in a shirt. He did not follow officers’ commands and made a movement like he was pointing a weapon at an officer, police said.

In defense of that officer, three other officers on the scene shot at the suspect at 11:42 p.m. Monday, police said. Officers fired two shotguns and one rifle.

What officers thought was a weapon was a shirt wrapped around his hands, police said.

Metro Area Ambulance responded and brought Lovgren to a local hospital. Neither CHI St. Alexius nor Sanford Hospital had Lovgren listed in their directories.

The case has been turned over to BCI for investigation.

Draovitch said there is probably not video of the incident, as Bismarck police officers do not wear body cameras, but audio may be available. The area where the shooting occurred is very dark at night, he said.

The three officers who fired shots have been placed on administrative leave per department policy. One officer has three years’ experience with the department. One has 1.5 years’ experience with the department. It was the first night on patrol for the third officer, who has three years prior law enforcement experience.

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Draovitch said the officer who was believed to be in danger remained scheduled for work Tuesday night.

None of the officers who fired their guns Monday night shooting were in the Bismarck Police Department at the time of the 2011 shooting. Officers were only beginning to figure out the connection when Lovgren was shot, Draovitch said.

Lovgren is currently on parole for charges related to the 2011 shooting. He escaped from Centre, Inc., a halfway house in Mandan, on May 27, and there is a warrant for his arrest, according to Michelle Linster, the public information officer for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Lovgren was sentenced in May 2011 to seven years in prison and five years of probation for felony charges of terrorizing and illegal possession of a firearm. Lovgren was accused of holding two people against their will and pointing a gun at police officers. At the time, he apparently made comments including "I've got three shotguns that can help me," and "I'm going to drink a beer and go out like the Sundance Kid." An officer shot him after he pointed a gun at police. The North Dakota Attorney General's Office ruled the use of force justified.


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