Wahpeton reflects on deadly Monday night shooting

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 6:17 PM CST
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WAHPETON, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The typically quiet town of Wahpeton was in shock Monday night after a shooting took place near the intersection of 11th Street North and Loy Avenue.

“I just heard a bunch of rapid shots probably seven or eight in a row, and then nothing,” said Eric Bjerke, a nearby resident.

“I woke up and saw all the cop cars outside and I saw the taped off road and I was just wondering what was going on,” said Dalton Schultz, another resident.

On top of the concern of the crime, was the location of it.

“Just with the geographical location where the crime happened, in between all the schools right here‚ it’s a really scary situation here,” said Stevin Lipp, a longtime resident of Wahpeton. “Obviously, that puts family and kids in harm’s way.”

“We had students coming back to the middle school from a basketball event” said Chief Matthew Anderson from the Wahpeton Police Department. “We had wrestling practice being held at the high school and we had hockey practice for several different age groups of hockey at the Stern’s arena.”

Multiple locations went into lockdown and sent notifications warning of the danger.

“I got a text message from our school, saying we need to take shelter and that something is going on in town,” said Ellie Schmitz, a student at NDSCS. “I immediately went straight to my apartment door, and I locked it, closed all our blinds and turned off as many lights as I possibly could.”

Police and nearby residents say they were shocked that the violent crime happened in that neighborhood.

“You see police around here but it’s usually nothing huge, nothing violent-wise,” said Bjerke.

“This is the first instance that I’ve ever seen of something like this since I’ve lived up here,” said Schultz.

“Where the incident took place, it is not an area of high-call-volume for our officers,” added Chief Anderson.

While the shooting has shaken up many residents, they say it hasn’t shaken their opinion of the town they call home.

“It’s unfortunate something like this had to happen in our community,” lamented Lipp.

“It’s usually a fairly quiet town. It’s a nice place to live. There’s nice people here,” said Schultz.

“I’m not going to move or anything but it’s definitely something that might freak people out,” said Bjerke.