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UPDATE: New details about officer-involved shooting in Morton County; officer on administrative leave

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Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:19 AM CDT
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MANDAN, N.D. (KFYR) - UPDATE (5 p.m. 9/15/21): North Dakota Highway Patrol released the name of the trooper involved in a September 7th shooting.

Steven Mayer, the trooper, worked with Morton County deputies to perform a high-risk traffic stop on a vehicle refusing to stop along I-94. According to reports from law enforcement, Mayer interacted with the driver, 45-year-old Craig Knutson, and fired his duty weapon once killing him.

Following the incident, Mayer was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

UPDATE (9 a.m. 9/8/21): Additional details were released during a press conference Wednesday about an officer-involved shooting in Morton County.

North Dakota Highway Patrol chief of operations Tom Iverson said Morton County deputies responded to a call Tuesday around 8 p.m. for a person driving erratically on I-94 about seven miles east of Hebron.

Iverson says the driver would not stop. Deputies used tire spikes and a North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper used a PIT maneuver to stop the vehicle. Iverson says the trooper then spoke with the driver and told other officers the driver had a gun.

According to reports of the incident, the trooper fired his duty weapon once killing 45-year-old Craig Knutson of Billings, Montana. Troopers say a gun was recovered from Knutson’s vehicle.

“The North Dakota Highway Patrol, as well as the Morton County Sheriff’s Office, extends our deepest sympathies to the Knutson family. North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers train extensively for high-risk incidents, and we value each individual and understand that the loss of life is a tragic event,” said Iverson.

The incident is under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the trooper has been placed on administrative leave until reviewed by the Morton County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Three Morton County deputies at the scene are not going to be placed on administrative leave.

“We’ll go through to make sure that policies and procedures were followed and if there needs to be any changes in the future to make sure that we have the safety not only for the officer, but the traveling public as well,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier.

Iverson says the last trooper-involved fatal shooting occurred in 2010.

ORIGINAL STORY: A North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper is on administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting west of Mandan.

A press release from the Highway Patrol says the trooper was assisting the Morton County Sheriff’s Office deputies around 8 p.m. Tuesday in a vehicle pursuit 13 miles west of Mandan.

The release says when the pursuit ended the trooper fired his weapon killing a 45-year-old Billings, Mont., man.

The incident is under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). The trooper has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by BCI and reviewed by the Morton County State’s Attorney, which is standard practice and department policy following an officer involved shooting.

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