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Police killer wasn't prohibited from having firearm at time of Fargo shooting

FARGO -- The suspected shooter in a standoff that killed a Fargo police officer was not prohibited from having a gun at the time of the shooting, according to officials.

FARGO -- The suspected shooter in a standoff that killed a Fargo police officer was not prohibited from having a gun at the time of the shooting, according to officials.

Police responded to a domestic disturbance at 308 9th Ave. N. in Fargo Feb. 10 that escalated into an eight-hour standoff and shooting that left Fargo police officer Jason Moszer, 33, and suspected shooter Marcus Schumacher, 49, dead.

After the deadly incident, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives teamed up with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations to determine what weapons were in the Fargo home at the time of the shooting.

The investigation is ongoing, but the ATF said on Friday that Schumacher was not prohibited from having a firearm. However, the BCI has not released whether any weapon allegedly used by Schumacher was obtained legally, what specific weapons were used and the number of weapons used in the standoff.

Prior to the recent Fargo incident, Schumacher was charged in Grand Forks County District Court with the murder of 17-year-old Maynard Clauthier and attempted murder of 21-year-old Bradley Boswell in Grand Forks in 1988. He was ultimately sentenced to five years for negligent homicide and served four in the state penitentiary. He was released April 2, 1993.

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According to a North Dakota Criminal Code statute addressing possession of weapons, people convicted of a violent felony are able to obtain a firearm 10 years after their release.

That would mean Schumacher would have been eligible in 2003, nearly 13 years before the Fargo standoff.

It appears he was automatically able to do so without having to file a petition, according to Tyler Morrow, a Grand Forks attorney.

But if he did have to file a petition, where he would file it varies. If the crime was committed in North Dakota, the petition would be filed where the crime occurred, the statute states.

A computer search of Schumacher's criminal and civil records in Grand Forks and Cass counties didn't turn up any petition. Schumacher's Grand Forks case file, which is housed at the state archives, did not appear to contain any petition. And Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick was not aware of any petition filed by Schumacher in the county.

For a crime committed in another state or with the federal government, the petition must be filed in the county where the petitioner resides.

The Forum News Service is not aware of any crimes Schumacher may have committed in other states and a search of Pacer, a database of federal court cases, did not turn up any cases for Schumacher.

At the time of the Fargo shooting, Schumacher resided in Fargo, according to a Cass County property tax search. And at the time of the Grand Forks murder charges, Schumacher resided in Devils Lake.

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"I searched it criminally and civilly throughout the state, and nothing pops up," Morrow said.

The petition requirement applies to felonies and Class A misdemeanors, according to the statute.

In 2013, Schumacher pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor, in Cass County District Court. He was sentenced to unsupervised probation, which ended Dec. 30, 2013, according to court records. Nothing in his criminal judgment for the Class B misdemeanor refers to any firearm restrictions.

Related Topics: FARGO POLICE DEPARTMENT
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