UND police officer involved in hospital parking lot shooting
GRAND FORKS -- A University of North Dakota police officer was involved in a shooting in the parking lot of Altru Hospital early Saturday morning after a vehicle pursuit.
GRAND FORKS - A University of North Dakota police officer was involved in a shooting in the parking lot of Altru Hospital early Saturday morning after a vehicle pursuit.
The shooting occurred about 12:45 a.m., according to news releases issued from area police departments. Law enforcement remained on scene late into the morning.
Grand Forks police officer Lt. Dwight Love said shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday there is no danger to the public at this time but couldn’t comment further, saying the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation would be investigating the incident and is responsible for providing more details.
A message seeking information about the incident left by the Grand Forks Herald for the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation has not been returned. The agency also had not released additional information in a news release as of Saturday evening.
East Grand Forks, Minn., resident Tina Frisch was pulling up to the Altru emergency room when she and her friend watched a line of police vehicles race down Columbia Road and into the Altru campus.
“They were all coming in our direction, so we just stayed in the car,” she said.
The pair watched as officers surrounded a pickup truck and pulled their guns. Frisch said she couldn’t tell if she was listening to gunshots or vehicle doors slamming during the incident. She and her friend did eventually exit Frisch’s vehicle and were allowed into the emergency room by officers, she said. From the lobby, Frisch watched as police secured the scene.
“It was like watching a real-life episode of ‘Cops,’” she said, adding the two hours she spent in the ER were the fastest of her life.
“It was just crazy,” Frisch said. “It’s scary because you don’t know what you’re supposed to do in a situation like that.”
Photos taken by eyewitnesses show a black pickup with a broken passenger side window and what appear to be bullet holes visible in its rear window surrounded by police tape.
Another photo shows a portion of the hospital parking lot barricaded from traffic with vehicles from several law enforcement units circling the scene.
The news releases did not include details about whether there were injuries, who or how many people fired a weapon, the type of weapon involved, if there was an arrest or arrests, or what precipitated the pursuit.
The releases sent out early Saturday morning contain the same wording and were issued by Eric Plummer, UND police chief, and Michael Ferguson, deputy chief for the Grand Forks Police Department.
Altru Hospital released a statement Saturday morning confirming the hospital is open.
The facility said patients in need of emergency or urgent care or those seeking care from the early morning pediatrics clinic can use the emergency room entrance. Families visiting patients were asked to use the hospital’s main doors.
The statements said officers from the Grand Forks Police Department, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office and the North Dakota Highway Patrol also participated in the initial pursuit.