Date: November 1, 2016
Agency: Morton County Sheriff's Department
Contact: Morton County PIO (701) 426-1587 or (701) 595-3596
Mandan, N.D. - Law enforcement have conducted interviews and reviewed video from an incident near the Backwater Bridge Thursday, October 27th in Morton County. While law enforcement detained an individual, it has been determined that person is the victim in the case.
Authorities are unable to confirm there was a shooting as initially reported and that anyone was injured. Law enforcement have not charged anyone in relation to this incident, however the case remains under investigation. Law enforcement provides the following summary of the Thursday incident.
The individual victim was checking on construction equipment parked near the contractor entrance, east of 1806. A group was gathered outside of the gate at the contractor entrance. The victim was instructed to get pictures of construction equipment. In order to do so, the victim disguised himself so he would be able to gain access without being singled out as a construction worker.
The victim says he heard people in the group tell him to “get the ____ out of here.” He was told to leave and then told to stop. While leaving the area and driving south on Highway 1806, the individual was deliberately hit by a vehicle. The victim’s vehicle was forced through a fence and got stuck. The victim saw five individuals coming at his truck and could see large knives in their possession. The man grabbed a rifle to defend himself, he retreated toward the Cannonball River and was pursued. During this time, the victim’s vehicle was also set on fire.
An individual in the crowd had a flare gun (orange in color). Investigators witnessed in the video someone in the group shot a flare in the victim’s direction. The victim had a gun however no shots were identified as being fired from his weapon.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) responded to the incident and detained the victim. He was turned over to law enforcement, questioned and released. No charges will be filed against this man as he was using the weapon to protect himself.