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Suspect in standoff shot by police, pronounced dead at hospital

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WEST FARGO – One man is dead and at least three officers from the Fargo-Moorhead area are on paid administrative leave following a shooting in West Fargo on Monday, March 12.

West Fargo Chief Heith Janke said the deceased male was the subject of a prior ongoing investigation leading up to the shooting.

Janke said a West Fargo officer attempted to pull over the suspect for a violation Monday evening but the suspect fled and a pursuit with excessive speeds ensued through West Fargo.

During the pursuit the suspect rammed a West Fargo police officer vehicle and eventually stopped in the 1000 block of 11th Street West, Janke said.

A CodeRED alert was issued and residents living within a quarter-mile of 1003 11th St. W. were asked to shelter in place while authorities started negotiations. The suspect remained holed up in a truck and Janke believed there were weapons in the vehicle. Janke added the suspect did not live at the residence.

The suspect refused to comply with any commands, Janke said, and so the Red River Valley SWAT team took over negotiations.

At that time the suspect exited the vehicle, posing an imminent threat to officers, Janke said.

Shots were fired at 10:37 p.m. The suspect was taken in a ambulance to Sanford Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Janke said.

No officers were injured in the shooting.

Fargo Chief David Todd said two of his officers serving on the SWAT team would likely be on paid administrative leave. Moorhead Chief David Ebinger said there would be one officer from his department on leave as well.

The crime scene was one block south of Westside Elementary School, where there was a large police presence, including SWAT, F-M Ambulance, North Dakota Highway Patrol and officers from Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.

Cary Carr lives three houses down from where he saw a man inside a parked truck yelling out the window at officers with guns drawn. Carr said initially four squad cars were surrounding the truck, but law enforcement presence continued growing.

The Bureau of Investigations is conducting the investigation.

The suspect’s identity is being withheld pending family notification.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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