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Fargo police officer shoots driver during encounter with stolen van

The person who was shot was taken to a local hospital, police said, but their condition was unknown.

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Investigators examine the scene where a Fargo police officer shot the driver of a van at a south Fargo apartment complex Friday, July 8, 2022.
David Olson/The Forum
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FARGO — A Fargo police officer shot a person after officers were called to a garage at an apartment complex on Friday, July 8.

At 8:07 a.m., police received a report of someone slumped over the steering wheel of a van in the garage near the 3400 block of 15th Avenue South, according to Police Chief David Zibolski.

Officers arrived at about 8:13 a.m., and a couple of minutes later there was a report of shots fired and a foot pursuit.

The officers had encountered a van in the garage, and three people were in the van, which had been reported stolen two days before, Zibolski told news reporters during a briefing in the parking lot of Savers thrift store, not far from the shooting scene.

As the officers went into the garage to investigate, the van exited the garage. At that point, one of the officers fired his gun and struck the driver of the van, the chief said.

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The van then stopped, and two passengers got out and fled. The driver remained in the vehicle. One of the passengers was caught and taken into custody, Zibolski said.

Police were still looking for the other passenger as of midday Friday. The chief described him as a Hispanic or Native American man with a shaved head who was about 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11. He was wearing a light blue shirt and blue jeans.

None of the officers involved were seriously injured, Zibolski said. The person who was shot was taken to a local hospital, police said, but their condition was unknown as of midday Friday.

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Police vehicles congregate in the 1600 block of 35th Street South in Fargo on July 8, 2022, near where a city police officer fatally shot the driver of a van.
David Olson/The Forum

Zibolski said he does not know how the officer who opened fire interacted with the van, including whether he believed the vehicle was going to run him over.

It was not immediately known whether the person shot was armed. Asked whether a gun was recovered at the scene, the chief did not say.

Zibolski said there is officer body camera video of the shooting, but it was unclear if and when that video would be made public.

Friday's shooting was the first officer-involved shooting since Fargo police officers began wearing body cameras in September 2021, according to Fargo police.

Before Friday, the last officer-involved shooting in Fargo was in October 2018, police said . In that case, officer Cory Luckow was investigating a report of stolen property when he encountered Richard Anthony Torres and a foot chase ensued.

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Torres pulled out a handgun during the chase and pointed it at Luckow, prompting the officer to shoot at Torres, according to court records. Torres, who was not shot, was ultimately captured by another officer, court records show.

The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation will oversee the investigation of Friday's shooting. Authorities have not released the names of the officers involved, the van driver or passengers.

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Chief David Zibolski addresses news reporters in the parking lot of Savers thrift store in south Fargo after a city police officer shot a person Friday, July 8, 2022.
C.S. Hagen / The Forum

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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