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Gunman who killed Fargo officer also shot himself

FARGO -- Marcus Schumacher fatally shot a Fargo police officer and threatened to kill more before turning the gun on himself in a standoff last month, the Cass County State's Attorney's Office has concluded.

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Marcus Schumacher

FARGO -- Marcus Schumacher fatally shot a Fargo police officer and threatened to kill more before turning the gun on himself in a standoff last month, the Cass County State's Attorney's Office has concluded.

State's Attorney Birch Burdick, in a report issued Friday, March 25, also determined that a police sniper who shot Schumacher twice in the arm, injuring him, was legally justified and should not face charges.

The sniper shot Schumacher after Schumacher fatally shot Fargo police Officer Jason Moszer, according to the report.

Moszer was shot on Feb. 10 and died the next day, making him the first Fargo officer killed in the line of duty since the 19th century.

The report, based on findings by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, describes Schumacher's homicidal, bizarre and reckless behavior.

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The 49-year-old Fargo man spoke at length with authorities during the standoff, first with a dispatcher and then with Fargo police negotiator Detective Philip Swan, the report states.

Schumacher complained about his unhappy marriage, said he was trying to make a statement and mentioned he wanted to "make the news," according to the report. He said his intent was "to be not good" and told the authorities that the standoff would not end well.

The standoff, which started Feb. 10 and continued into the following day, began after Schumacher and his wife, Michelle, were arguing. Schumacher may have shot a gun in his wife's direction, the report states.

Michelle Schumacher and her two adult children left the home; one of the children called 911 to report a disturbance and Schumacher called 911 himself.

Police surrounded the home at 308 9th Ave. N., set up a perimeter and tried to resolve the situation peacefully. But Schumacher fired indiscriminately at police cars, various structures, and a civilian car, the report states.

Moszer, 33, was providing perimeter protection and surveillance across the street, behind a garage, when Schumacher shot him.

"Schumacher, in a seemingly matter-of-fact tone, told the negotiator a police officer 'just went down,' " the report states. "Although Schumacher indicated he did not know an officer was back there, he fired several shots at that same location, hitting the garage door and going into/through the garage wall. He acknowledges on the telephone having shot Moszer."

Schumacher told police he would hold his fire so that they could collect Moszer, but when officers used a rescue vehicle to get Moszer, they reported coming under fire, the report states.

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Meanwhile, Schumacher remained hidden inside his home. Police tried to use robots to infiltrate the home and fired tear gas.

After Moszer was shot, Fargo police Officer Jerrod Wagner, a SWAT team sniper who had a limited view of Schumacher, shot Schumacher twice in the right arm, which did not kill him, the report states.

Wagner's two shots were the only shots fired by law enforcement in the standoff, while Schumacher fired many times; dozens of shell casings were discovered in the home, the report states.

Schumacher confirmed on the phone that he had been hit. After that point, he stopped firing at targets outside the house. Sometime later, he shot himself in the head with a rifle, the report states.

The report also states that Schumacher said he would probably die in the standoff and said he would kill one or two more officers.

Schumacher's autopsy showed he was on several drugs, including methamphetamine and hydrocodone, the report states.

"I think I knew that morning that something was wrong," Michelle Schumacher said in reaction to the report. "He definitely wasn't the man I was married to the last 29 years."

She said she was not surprised he killed himself at the end.

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"I've come to terms with things, but it's still so hard," she said, breaking into tears. "I constantly feel the need to apologize for him. I feel that I have to apologize for him because he's not here to do it."

She said she felt sadness, forgiveness and anger that Schumacher tried to get help for his mental health and couldn't.

"We need to start focusing on mental health with people and I really hope that's the good that comes out of this," she said. "I'd give everything I own in my life ... to have my husband back with me and be healthy."

She said she and family members met with Fargo Police Chief David Todd on Thursday, March 24, to go over the timeline of the standoff. She said she believes the meeting was meant to give her family some notice ahead of Burdick's report.

A phone message left for Todd was not returned.

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