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Bismarck officer shoots, kills man after emergency call

BISMARCK - A Bismarck police officer is on administrative leave after the shooting of a 42-year-old Mandan man Sunday night. According to a statement from the Bismarck Police Department, James Anthony Scott was shot by police at 11:28 p.m. at 32n...

BISMARCK – A Bismarck police officer is on administrative leave after the shooting of a 42-year-old Mandan man Sunday night.

According to a statement from the Bismarck Police Department, James Anthony Scott was shot by police at 11:28 p.m. at 32nd Street and Rosser Avenue in Bismarck and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:51 p.m.

The officer was not injured.

Bismarck police responded to a call at 3240 East Thayer Ave. at 11:11 p.m. The caller reported an intoxicated male in the back of the building armed with a shotgun who wanted to kill the caller. Bismarck Police Sgt. Mark Buschena said it is believed the two knew each other though the specifics of the connection are unknown.

As about 10 officers were enroute, they received additional information that the caller was with a neighbor in back of 3220 East Thayer and that one of the two was armed with a handgun.

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Dispatch told the caller to move to an area of safety but the caller refused. The caller then reported the man was walking toward him with a shotgun.

As officers arrived, one officer saw the suspect standing in the hallway of 3240 East Thayer, standing next to a long gun.

That information was broadcast to other officers arriving at the scene.

The suspect then ran out the back door of the apartment building, running northbound toward Rosser Avenue.

An officer commanded the suspect to show his hands and get on the ground. The suspect refused, and the officer, believing the suspect to be armed and dangerous, fired his rifle three times around 11:28 p.m., striking Scott.

Police administered first aid. Metro Area Ambulance responded and transported Scott to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police recovered a shotgun from the apartment hallway.

Buschena said Scott was not armed when first aid was administered to him.

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“What happened up to that point, that’s going to part of the investigation,” he said.

The officer has eight years of experience with Bismarck police.

Per department policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave and the case has been turned over to the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Buschena said the officer's name will be released when the BCI investigation is completed.

Buschena said, under state law, officers may use deadly force to arrest or prevent escape when the suspect "has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving violence, is attempting to escape by the use of a deadly weapon or has otherwise indicated that the individual is likely to endanger human life or to inflict serious bodily injury unless apprehended without delay."

It’s the third shooting in as many months involving Bismarck police officers.

-- On Jan. 23, an officer shot and injured an 18-year-old man who allegedly drove a stolen car at the officer.

-- On Jan. 31, two Bismarck police officers shot and injured a 26-year-old burglary suspect after the man allegedly ignored officers’ commands and reached for what was believed to be a weapon in his car parked outside a mobile home. Police said a revolver was found in the vehicle’s front seat.

The three officers involved in the two shootings were initially placed on administrative leave per department policy. They have since been cleared by a psychologist and have returned to non-enforcement duty as the state crime bureau investigates the shootings

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The Bismarck Tribune contributed to this story.

Related Topics: CRIMEMANDANBISMARCK
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