UPDATE: Officials reviewing security procedures after courtroom death

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 3:22 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Officials at the Federal Courthouse in Fargo are reviewing security procedures after a man took his own life in a courtroom on Monday afternoon.

The FBI is investigating the death and says 55-year-old Jeffrey Ferris of Belcourt, North Dakota, used an “easily concealable instrument to take his own life.” Ferris died in the courtroom and an autopsy is being conducted at the University of North Dakota.

Ferris had been found guilty of reckless endangerment, terrorizing, and use of a firearm in relation to a felony crime of violence. The mandatory minimum sentence was seven years in federal prison. Ferris was found not guilty of eight counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Court documents say the charges stem from an April 2020 incident on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. Court records allege he drove a jeep toward several children and nearly hit them. Those documents also say Ferris assaulted a person with a handgun.

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