Attorney General says Fargo officer’s actions ‘justified and reasonable’ in deadly July shooting
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The North Dakota Attorney General’s Office says, “Fargo Police officers conducted themselves professionally, bravely, and within the construct of the law,” following an investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting on the morning of July 8.
The North Dakota BCI lead the investigation and turned over its findings to the Attorney General’s Office. A news conference was held on Monday, August 29, where Attorney General Drew Wrigley and Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski presented information about the investigation and decision.
28-year-old Shane Netterville was shot on July 8 after officers were called to the 1500 block of 34th St. S. for three men who appeared to be dead inside of a van in a garage. When officers arrived, they found three people in a van that was earlier reported stolen and which had a gunshot in the windshield.
Video evidence from the police squad car and body cameras show the officers’ commands were loud and apparent. When interviewed by investigators, the two passengers in the van said they heard police commands and were trying to convince Netterville to comply. Investigators say, by starting the vehicle, Netterville turned the van into a weapon.
Netterville started the vehicle and shut it off several times before moving forward out of the garage. He stopped briefly before “driving forward rapidly toward officers,” according to Wrigley. Officer Adam O’Brien fired a single shot, which hit Netterville in the right side of his chest.
“That was a reasonable and appropriate decision given the circumstances,” Attorney General Wrigley said. Wrigley added, Officer O’Brien feared for his life and for the lives of the other officers.
The van continued for a short time before crashing. The two passengers ran from the scene and Netterville remained in the driver’s seat. Once realizing Netterville was no longer a threat, the officers administered first aid until F-M Ambulance arrived. Netterville died at a hospital later that afternoon.
Prior to Monday’s news conference, police and investigators met with Shane Netterville’s family members to speak with them about the findings and show them video evidence from July 8.
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