Names of Ryder murder-suicide victims released

RYDER, N.D. – The Ward County Sheriff’s Department has released more information in a Thursday night murder-suicide, including the names of the victims.

Investigators say they used surveillance footage to piece the case together, and have determined that 32-year-old Thomas Huston, of Makoti, entered the Ryder Star Bar shortly after 10 p.m. and confronted 49-year-old Danial Peterson, also of Makoti.

The two fought, and Huston retreated to the exit, before turning around, brandishing a gun, and firing one round at Peterson, killing him.

Investigators then say Huston left the bar and turned the gun on himself.

They say the incident was between the two men, and there are no other current suspects. While the Ward County Sheriff's Department says there is no threat to the public, the community felt the impact.

Friday, members of the community are shocked that this could have happened in their town.

“It's a shock to any small community. It's something that shouldn't happen anywhere,” said Derek Olson, Ryder.

Olson says it's hard to believe something this tragic could happen in this town of less than 100 people

“It's just not a good thing. If they can't figure out how to take care of their problems without murdering somebody or a suicide then there's bigger issues,” Olson said.

A Ward County Sheriff's deputy arrived on scene within 10 minutes of them getting the report. Investigators worked until dawn.

“It really helped the rest of us out having someone on scene right away. We didn't know, going down there, what we were getting into at the time,” said Ward County Sheriff Bob Roed.

The sheriff's department said that there were witnesses to the crime, and the investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information on the incident should contact the Ward County Sheriff’s Department at: (701) 857-6500.