Murders in New Town - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Murders in New Town

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Five people died Sunday in New Town and Parshall, including four members of one family who were shot to death.

Jim Olson has been following the story today and joins us live with the latest.

It was a shocking day in New Town and Parshall - and most especially for the people of New Town, where four members of one family were killed in the afternoon while the suspect in the case took his own life in Parshall - about 15 miles away later that day.

Killed in New Town were 64-year-old Martha Johnson and three of her grandchildren: 13-year-old Benjamin Schuster, 10-year-old Julia Schuster, and 6-year-old Luke Schuster.

The name of the 22-year-old man who slit his own throat in Parshall in a standoff with officers has not been released, but our sources tell us his name was Kelsey Eagle.

Jim Olson reports.

The murders happened here - at this picturesque, picket fenced home just a couple of blocks north of the school where the Schuster children attended class. A 12-year-old boy who was home when the shooting started survived by playing dead under the dead body of one of his siblings. He then called 9-1-1 at 3:17 on Sunday afternoon, reaching the Mountrail County Sheriff's dispatcher in Stanley. Sheriff Ken Halvorson says New Town police cooperated by quickly responding the home - and the search for the shooter began.

(Arthur Walgren, New Town Police Chief) "When you have something of this magnitude happen, it can jar you as a community no matter what size and when it's a smaller town it really puts a scare into people."

By evening, the suspect was confronted by officers near the Laundromat in Parshall - about 15 miles east of New Town.

(Gainus Little Soldier, Parshall) "I looked out and saw an ambulance sitting there and about ten police cars."

(Jim Olson, KX News) "The FBI has taken over the investigation and will be releasing information about the case. It's information that, even at the school, was hard to come by as they tried to decide whether to have school or not."

(Marc Bluestone, New Town Superintendent) "I felt in the best interests of the district we should not have school today because we didn't have official information that all of the perpetrators were caught and how safe things were in the community so we had to make that decision by 9 o'clock last night if we were going to have school or not."

Bluestone says the deaths of the children will have a tragic impact on many of the classrooms at the school.

(Marc Bluestone, New Town Superintendent) "It does impact our whole middle school and two classrooms at the elementary school and we're working to prep for that tomorrow."

Bluestone said the murders were a tragedy for the community and the region.

In New Town, Jim Olson, KX News.

New Town school officials say school will resume tomorrow, with counselors and clergy available for students and staff members who are grieving over the deaths.

As for the suspect, Kelsey Eagle, our law enforcement sources tell us he is the same person who made news in March of this year when he led officers on a high-speed, hundred-mile chase across western North Dakota in a stolen pickup and trailer.

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