Police Shooting in Minot ND


Country Boy
July 19, 2005, 05:31 PM

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 Time: 12:57:05 PM EST

Man shot three times

By KEN CRITES, Staff Writer kcrites@ndweb.com

A 26-year-old man shot three times during a confrontation with police officers in southwest Minot Sunday morning was reported to be alive and recovering at Trinity Hospital Monday.

A police report distributed during a news conference at Minot's City Hall Monday afternoon said at about 11 a.m. Sunday, two officers were dispatched to an apartment building at 1308-5th St. SW.
A caller had reported to police that a man was covered with blood from apparent self-inflicted wounds and was wielding a knife.

When the two officers arrived, they found a very agitated subject wielding a 6-inch steakknife. "He was indeed covered in blood and had apparently inflicted wounds upon himself," the report said.

The subject, identified by police as Douglas Ray Bell, came out of the house brandishing a raised knife and went after an officer in an imminently threatening manner. Even though the officer had her duty weapon drawn, she noticed two bystanders were in the line of fire, and didn't fire her gun. However, the second officer was at an angle to the man and fired two shots to avert injury to the first officer.

A police statement said the shooting happened "as a result of the actions of the man."

After being shot twice, the man stopped briefly and in the next few minutes continued to fight with the officers. Both officers sprayed the man with pepper spray and used expandable batons as intermediary defenses, police said.

The report said the man was actually on top of one officer and attempted to wrestle the .45-caliber pistol away from that officer. As that was taking place, the report said the pistol discharged a third time and struck the man in the leg. It's believed that Bell pulled the pistol's trigger during the scuffle, police said.

Bell was shot in the chest, was hit with another shot to his torso and then in his leg.

The wounded man continued to resist the officers and many times asked them to shoot him, "to shoot him in the head," the report said. Bell was finally subdued and handcuffed. He was strapped to an ambulance gurney and taken to Trinity Hospital where he underwent surgery.

Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Kukowski said Monday that Bell underwent surgery Sunday for "a little over an hour ... I was told he was going to pull through."

It was announced by Police Chief Dan Draovitch during the news conference Monday that Bell was continuing to improve after his surgery.

The chief went on to say, "It is my personal contention that the officers acted appropriately, bravely, professionally and within the Minot Police Department's policy throughout the entire situation.

"It is our policy, however, to have an outside agency investigate such a situation. Therefore the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Ward County State's Attorney will review all evidence and investigate this matter. The officers are on paid administrative leave at this time."

Draovitch did not identify the officers. He said they were still being debriefed. The police docket, however, said Officers Kari Salmon and Jason Sundbakken were dispatched to the call.

Draovitch said both officers suffered minor injuries to their extremities and both were struck numerous times in the head by Bell.

Draovitch said no charges have yet been brought in the incident, but that charges are being reviewed. He said it might be several days before the police department's internal investigation and the Crime Bureau investigation are completed.

Draovitch, Kukowski, Capt. Jeff Balentine, Crime Bureau supervisor Dallas Carlson and State's Attorney John Van Grinsven attended the brief news conference.

Draovitch said the last police shooting within Minot occurred about 25 years ago when a man was shot and wounded by an officer during a confrontation at a bar in northwest Minot.

If you enjoyed reading about "Police Shooting in Minot ND" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
El Tejon
July 19, 2005, 05:32 PM
Blue suicide?

July 19, 2005, 05:57 PM
Yeah, clearly an attempted suicide-by-cop.

I would say the police officers went overboard trying not to kill the guy. That would not have happened around here. A guy with a knife tackling a police officer would have gotten a head shot, and deservedly so. This is an instance when it appears to me that the officers didn't shoot to end the threat. Very civilized of them and commendable, but risky.

July 19, 2005, 05:58 PM
So mucn for the myth of the .45 cannonball

Maybe I'll rethink that .25 backup

July 19, 2005, 06:08 PM
Good work! That's some good law enforcement there. Notice how the officers watched their fields of fire and avoided spraying and praying. Three shots total, leading to three hits on the subject. Excellent! Even if one of them was caused by the scuffle, the officer had enough control of it to keep it aimed at the suspect. These officers went above and beyond the call to avoid killing the man. It reminds me of a similar incident in Anchorage a few years ago where APD officer tried hard to avoid having to shoot a mentally retarded man waving a handgun around in a parking lot. They only killed him after he broke free from restraint and started pointing the revolver at passing traffic. And there again all rounds hit the suspect, indicating the officers kept cool heads and trigger fingers.

July 19, 2005, 06:30 PM
Job well done by both officers. Holding your fire because you maintained awareness of others in your line of fire is noteworthy, and that they managed to subdue someone who was TRYING to get shot is outstanding.

But an gun expert (he was in the military) told me that a hit with a 45 in your finger would knock you down. So I guess they should have aimed for his fingers instead of his chest. :)

July 19, 2005, 07:06 PM
+1 Police Force!

Good job watching line of fire, GREAT job keeping cool and subduing the suspect, they didn't have to do that.

As for the suspect, geez, that's one tough dude - let the psych guys work on him a bit and sign him up for the marines!


July 19, 2005, 08:08 PM
I lived in Minot for about 5 years while enlisted in the USAF. I have to say the cops there were some of the best I've witnessed. Polite when they ought to have been, professional to a fault, and really just good people.

brian roberts
July 19, 2005, 08:37 PM
probably METH related..... :uhoh:

July 19, 2005, 08:47 PM
Funny, they went to batons AFTER having shot him? :uhoh:

JEEBUS, the guy was hit with TWO .45 ROUNDS in the torso, and then in the leg, and was fighting through all of this? What kind of Paul Bunyan was this dude?!

And I'm kinda surprised that the female officers were packing .45s to begin with. That's pretty cool!


July 19, 2005, 08:53 PM
Let's not forget, "Yay, it's such a boon to society that this guy's life was preserved (especially at the potential cost of the lives of the officers)." :rolleyes:

Everyone's acting like this suicidal nutjob makes the world a better place for still being around, and that the cops were heroes for managing to keep from having to kill him.

As one person said, it may be admirable that they preserved human life, but I question the value of having preserved this particular human life when this situation could VERY EASILY have resulted in the subject obtaining control of the officer's .45. That is the risk that they allowed by kid-gloving the incident.

I vote for the head-shot. Who's with me?


July 19, 2005, 08:59 PM
you got my vote PJ. attempted suicide by cop, stopped by two rounds. THEN the guy continues to attack them. They spray/baton and he still comes? Grabbing at the officer's gun and successfully firing a shot (that's up for debate, I know)? I'm not sure why this guy is still breathing. More risk than I'd be willing to incur. Glad they're "ok"

July 19, 2005, 10:09 PM
I can never tell if you guys are kidding with your "kill all scum" theory of law enforcement. Granted he isn't a role model for anybody.

I'll leave it to you to decide if it's high road or not, but I will ask if you would still want him dead if he was your son or brother?

July 19, 2005, 11:23 PM
Meth is probably a good guess.

Have a good family friend whose family has a farm out that way.

Could be he just wasn't suited for the boredom anymore.

chris in va
July 19, 2005, 11:27 PM
Do cops have to use FMJ?

And...only an hour in surgery? Must not have hit anything vital.

english kanigit
July 20, 2005, 01:21 AM
*takes up the chant*
HEADshot, HEADshot, HEADshot,HEADshot.....

I dunno, moving against an officer with a weapon in your hand? That's a line that once they cross, they shouldn't be able to come back. Unless of course the coroner is dragging their sorry carcass... :rolleyes:
Just my opinion...

July 20, 2005, 01:35 AM
Going to baton after shooting him -- I suspect that they did this because he was no longer armed, having dropped the knife, and because the innocent bystanders were still there somewhere.

All in all, it sounds like excellent work.


July 20, 2005, 01:36 AM
I can never tell if you guys are kidding with your "kill all scum" theory of law enforcement. Granted he isn't a role model for anybody.

I'll leave it to you to decide if it's high road or not, but I will ask if you would still want him dead if he was your son or brother?

I'm saying that if a cop is going to put her life on the line, as well as the lives of others, and hesitate to use lethal force to its conclusion (the clear end of the threat, whether it be death or merely incapacitation and immobility) because she wants to be touchy-feely about getting some poor deranged dude "saved," there are more worthy people she could make that risk over.

Whichever of the two cops could have made a stopping shot while the fight for the gun was going on and didn't, in my view, was remiss. Didn't do her job right. The job of the cop is to end the threat, and protect the lives of other cops and the public, NOT to extend her own neck in the hopes of bringing the sick guy in alive.

And please spare us the appeals to emotion... "What if he was your brother?"

How many times have you read stories of the family members of some gang-banger who got killed by the cops screaming about how he was "a good boy" and "was turning his life around" (always after being, you know, a felon first)... To hear family members tell it, NO son/brother/husband of theirs should have been shot, whether he was fighting a cop over her gun or not!

So whether we would want our son or brother or father or whoever shot by the cops is irrelevant. The ONLY thing that is relevant is whether the cops would be legally and morally justified in using lethal force as a defense against the unlawful, immoral actions of the decedent.


Blue Jays
July 20, 2005, 02:34 AM
Hi All-

+1 to PeacefulJeffrey's accurate and honest post.

As far as the touchy-feely stuff goes, my siblings wouldn't be in this pathetic situation. In the absurd intellectual leap that they were, it would make it easier for everyone if their downward spiral towards death was accelerated towards its logical conclusion. Even then, my sympathy would reside with the unfortunate officers.

As an aside...pictures of deceased gangbangers who were "turning their lives around" mandates use of a 6th grade graduation photograph complete with gown and mortarboard. Don't sweat the fact that the dead thug was nineteen years old by the time he assumed room temperature...

~ Blue Jays ~

July 20, 2005, 03:52 AM
They probably went CQB with batons because they were not comfortable with the idea of shooting from such short range with each other and civvies in the picture - most police aren't really well trained for a CQB in this situation because most people go DOWN when hit with a pair of 45ACP rounds, that had to be scary, that he kept coming like that.

Headshot, completely justified, but cops are only human and this sounds like a situation that would have rattled even the hardened.

As for perps value to society, as I said, Marines... perp is tough, crazy and wants to die ? let him spend his life in a useful purpose, then.


July 20, 2005, 10:52 AM
As near as I can determine only the caliber of the leg shot was mentioned. The article doesn't say if that was the same gun used for the other two shots. No agenda, just thought it needed mention before the whole board goes off halfcocked supposing things.

July 20, 2005, 11:14 AM
First this ND boy had herad of this, but sounds like the officers did what they could to keep from shooting bystanders. Too bad the city of Minot illegally has a law on the books limiting concealed carry in their city limits even though ND has preemption.

July 20, 2005, 01:27 PM
Everyone's acting like this suicidal nutjob makes the world a better place for still being around, and that the cops were heroes for managing to keep from having to kill him.

No. The cops are heroes because nobody got hurt except the suspect. You criticise their hesitation to use deadly force, but I'd rather have it the way it turned out than have NoDak law enforcement adopt California style accuracy and tactics.

It wouldn't surprise me if, being North Dakotans, the MPD wanted to keep him alive just to spite the jerk out of his death wish.

July 20, 2005, 01:36 PM
And please spare us the appeals to emotion... "What if he was your brother?"

OK, so you believe the goal of the police should be to kill everyone that they can legally justify killing. But will you answer the question? If you honestly would rather the police kill your hypothetical suicidal brother rather than try and stop him, then I will applaud your ruthless consistency.

July 21, 2005, 12:29 PM
Sounds like those police did an excellent job. I doubt many people would have been mourning the loss of that particular "upstanding citizen" but I'm sure that everyone has friends/family that will say that they were "just acting out", "trying to get their life turned around", "going through a tough time" etc..
We all have rough times in life, but that does NOT excuse that type behavior. :banghead:
Bottom line is someone like that is a clear danger to every one around them and if they can't be safely restrained, I think the police have every right to take someone like that out. That is part of their job.

The Freeholder
July 21, 2005, 01:05 PM
I wish all police were this professional. Where I live, I'm not all that comfortable with them having a bullet in their pocket. :)

August 19, 2005, 03:11 PM
I am going to turn this dead thread into a zombie:

Any locals heard any updates to this?

Andrew Rothman
August 19, 2005, 04:32 PM
Google News has the headline, but it's no longer on the newspaper site. Here's what I was able to grab:

Man shot in police confrontation taken from hospital to jail
In-Forum (subscription), ND - Jul 22, 2005
A man shot three times during a confrontation with police has been released from the hospital and taken to jail. Douglas Ray Bell, 26, faces a number of charges, including assault on a police officer. Bell appeared Thursday in Northwest District Court, wearing a hospital gown. He was released from the hospital and taken to the Ward County Jail shortly before noon. Judge Douglas Mattson set bond at $30,000 and appointed an attorney to defend Bell. Police say they were...

August 19, 2005, 07:12 PM
Any locals heard any updates to this?

Called a couple friends from the Minot area - nada.

If you enjoyed reading about "Police Shooting in Minot ND" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!