Police in Fargo confirmed that an officer was dead and two others injured after a shooting on Friday afternoon. The suspect was also killed, and a civilian sustained serious injuries.
The Fargo Police Department said it was unable to release any additional information prior to a 3:30 p.m. press conference which will take place Saturday.
Witnesses said a man opened fire on police officers before other officers shot him around 3 p.m. on Friday. Shortly afterward, officers converged on a residential area about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away and evacuated residents while gathering what they said was evidence related to the shooting.
Witnesses reported seeing and hearing gunshots in the area. Shannon Nichole told KFGO Radio she was driving at the time.
“I saw the traffic stop and as soon as I drove, shots were fired and I saw the cops go down,” Nichole said. “My airbag went off and the bullet went through my driver’s door.”
A man grabbed her and said they needed to get out of the area, Nichole said.
Chenoa Peterson told The Associated Press that she was driving with her 22-year-old daughter when a man pulled out a gun and began firing at police: “He proceeds to aim it and you just hear the bullets go off, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God! He’s shooting!'”
Peterson’s first instinct was to pull over and try to help, but having her daughter there convinced her to leave. “It’s weird knowing that if you were 10 seconds earlier you could have been in that,” she said.
Surveillance video provided by Fargo resident Allison Carlson captured the rapid sounds of gunfire.
Bo Thi was working alone at a nail salon near the shooting scene when she heard what sounded like fireworks or a motorcycle backfiring. She said gunshots didn’t cross her mind at the time.
“We sincerely are asking for your patience and our community’s patience and understanding as the Fargo Police Department works through this incident,” Gregg Schildberger, chief communications officer for the city, told reporters at the scene later in the day. “This is very difficult on all of us. We are releasing as much information as we can at this point. … We appreciate all the messages from the community that have been given to us in support of our officers.”
Police and other local agencies across the region posted their sympathies for Fargo police on Facebook.
“Thinking of our brothers and sisters in Fargo,” read a post from the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police.
“Please keep the blue lights shining to show our support of not only our local law enforcement, but also those affected by todays events!” read a post from the Glenwood Fire Department in Minnesota.