Two Fargo officer-involved shootings will be worked on simultaneously by BCI, ND AG says

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Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 11:52 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation has a heavy case load in Fargo as investigators are now working two officer-involved shootings within two agencies which happened less than two weeks apart.

The first incident happened on the morning of July 8 when Fargo Police were called to a S. Fargo apartment complex at 3401 15th Ave. S. for a report of three dead people in a van parked inside of a garage. When officers tried to talk with the men in the van, court documents state the van ‘began to flee directly towards officers.’ Adam O’Brien, an 11-year veteran of the department, fired his gun at the van and hit the driver, 28-year-old Shane Nettervile. Netterville died at the hospital hours later.

The second incident happened after a string of chaos erupted throughout S. Fargo within a matter of 30 minutes on the evening of July 19.

Fargo Police say 28-year-old Maichael Yousa was driving erratically and speeding excessively when he hit a motorcycle from behind on I-29 south in Fargo leaving the motorcyclist fighting for his life. Minutes later witnesses called 911 stating Yousa was firing a gun from a third-story balcony of an apartment building in the 3100 block of 34th Ave. S. Some witnesses told VNL they heard up to 30 shots.

Authorities say Yousa wasn’t done yet, as police soon spotted Yousa driving along 32nd Ave. S., fleeing from his apartment. Officers tried to stop the driver, but he took off toward I-29, side-swiping a vehicle in the process. Once on the interstate, officials say he crashed into another vehicle and then stopped along I-94 a short distance later. Yousa started shooting at a state trooper and the trooper returned fire, hitting the suspect twice, officials say.

Yousa was brought to a local hospital, treated for the injuries to his left bicep and released. He remains in the Cass County Jail. The trooper was uninjured in the incident, and has not yet been identified.

Attorney General Drew Wrigley says both incidents are ‘priority matters’ to the BCI and are being pieced together at the same time.

Wrigley says there is no deadline BCI agents must forward their findings by. Experts told VNL previously, the BCI tries to keep its investigations under 30 days, which Wrigley agreed is typical, but he also emphasized it’s not a hard date. As of Wednesday morning, Wrigley said there is no timeline when either officer-involved shooting will be forwarded on to prosecutors for their own review and consideration of charges.

Wrigley says there is a possibility the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office could recuse itself from one or both of the cases since prosecutors work closely with both Fargo Police and the North Dakota Highway Patrol. Wrigley says Cass County State Attorney Birch Burdick hasn’t made that move yet. Wrigley says if the Cass County office did move to recuse itself, officials could either ask another county office to preside over the review of the case, or ask the Attorney General’s Office.

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