The shooting incident that resulted in two deaths occurred about eight miles south of Belcourt on a typically-quiet rural road.
But the bright police lights and loud gunfire caused quite a commotion for nearby residents.
Tim Olson spoke with people who had front-row seats to the deadly encounter.
(Tim Olson, KX News) Jerilyn Belgarde says she was inside her home watching television Wednesday night when she heard gunshots.
(Jerilyn Belgarde, Lives Near Belcourt) “A bunch of shots at one time, and then there was a little pause – and then again, another round of shots.”(Olson) Belgarde lives only a few hundred yards from the intersection
south of Belcourt where Officer Colt Allery was killed in a gunfight with an unidentified suspect.
(Belgarde) “Swearing and hollering, then we heard more gunshots.”
(Olson) Rumors about nearby gunfire spread quickly through Rolette County. Tim Johnson was at church when he caught wind.
(Tim Johnson, Lives Near Belcourt) “We hatched down the doors at the church until the meeting was over.”
(Olson) Johnson lives about a mile from the scene of the incident.
(Johnson) “You see things on national TV about our police officers in danger all the time – but when it happens a mile or a mile-and-a-half from your own home, it gets a little scary.”
(Olson) Sheriff Gerald Medrud says any threat to the public was eliminated when the lone suspect was shot and killed at that intersection Wednesday night.
But the sting of losing Officer Allery lingers.
(Sheriff Gerald Medrud, Rolette County Sheriff) “He’s a young deputy that was full of spunk, he was very cheerful and happy all the time. He’s gonna be missed by a lot of the deputies and other law enforcement that knew him.”
(Johnson) “We have to appreciate what these law enforcement people do for us, protecting us.”
(Olson) The flag at the Rolette County Courthouse is flying at half mast in honor of the fallen sheriff’s deputy. The fatal incident remains under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Reporting in Rolla, Tim Olson, KX News.