Bismarck officers cleared in fatal shooting in Dickinson

Officers unsuccessfully attempted the use of multiple Tasers and rubber projectiles to subdue the suspect, Dakota Lee Chlarson, officials said.

Photo of Dakota Lee Chlarson from an arrest in Canyon County, Idaho on Sept. 19, 2019.

Officers were justified in shooting and killing a fugitive in Dickinson after the suspect charged at them with scissors, according to a letter signed by Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Henning.

Bismarck Police Officers Casey Bosch and Thomas Grosz, and Burleigh County Deputy Sheriff Matt Binegar were each cleared of any wrongdoing in the Feb. 13 shooting after a lengthy investigation.

According to a letter dated April 15 obtained by The Dickinson Press, the law enforcement officers were justified in the shooting after the suspect charged officers after a lengthy negotiation broke down. Officers unsuccessfully attempted the use of multiple Tasers and rubber projectiles to subdue the suspect, Dakota Lee Chlarson.

Chlarson, 25, was shot and killed at the residence at 305 Sims Street, just north of downtown Dickinson.

“The officers negotiated with Chlarson for several minutes attempting to get him to surrender,” Dan Orr, acting U.S. marshal for the District of North Dakota, said in an interview. “Officers then attempted to use less-than-lethal devices to gain Chlarson’s compliance, but those attempts were unsuccessful.”


Dickinson Police were on scene, but stayed outside the house and were not directly involved in the incident.

Deputy marshals and officers from the Bismarck Police Department and Burleigh County Sheriff’s Office went to the house to execute an Idaho warrant for the arrest of Chlarson. Chlarson was a suspect in an armed robbery there.

Officers were told that a weapon, likely a handgun, was used in the robbery and Chlarson should be considered armed and dangerous.

According to the letter, law enforcement personnel entered the residence after announcing their presence. Officers saw Chlarson on a coach in the living room. He immediately sprung from the couch and then wrapped himself in a red sheet that prevented officers from viewing his hands.

One of the officers attempted to disable Chlarson with a less-than-lethal Taser, however it failed to subdue the suspect as only a single prong was attached to him. Chlarson told officers that he had a knife and would use it, and officers observed scissors on a coffee table near the suspect.

“There was a period of exchange of negotiating statements/discussions between the suspect and officers,” the letter detailed. “Officer Casey Bosch responded that the suspect should not approach the officers and should drop the knife,”

Chlarson glanced repeatedly toward the coffee table where the scissors were.

According to the letter, after a second attempted Taser strike also failed, an attempt was made by officers to subdue Chlarson with a 40 millimeter launcher, which shoots rubber pellets. However, the sheet deflected the pellets.


Chlarson grabbed the scissors and charged officers after the third attempt at using non-lethal force, resulting in Bosch and Grosz firing shots. Two shots hit Chlarson, killing him.

According to Orr, after Chlarson charged at the officers with scissors they were forced to act to protect themselves. Chlarson was given emergency medical treatment, but did not survive.

“It is the opinion of the undersigned that Mr. Chlarson caused himself to be fatally shot by his actions,” the letter concluded.

James B. Miller, Jr. is the Editor of The Dickinson Press in Dickinson, North Dakota. He strives to bring community-driven, professional and hyper-local focused news coverage of southwest North Dakota.
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