On Jan. 21, 1921, the Minot Police Department lost one of its own.
Officer Lee Fahler was shot on Jan. 20 after he discovered a man was illegally smuggling Canadian whisky.
He later died from his injuries on Jan. 21.
“Knowing he was facing substantial prison time, the now-failed whisky smuggler pulled a loaded pistol from under his jacket and shot Lee twice in the back,” Officer Aaron Moss said. “Falling to the ground, Lee returned fire with three shots of his own as the man ran towards him and the car.”
Fahler was only with the Minot Police Department for two months but developed a reputation as dependable, brave and honest. While he paid the ultimate sacrifice, he will never be forgotten.
“Every year at the State Capitol in Bismark, Officer Lee Fahler’s name is read in remembrance of the 65 officers who have died in the line of duty in North Dakota,” Chief John Klug said.
Moss said a century later they are still serving the Minot area guided by Lee’s example of integrity. Fahler’s family was not able to make it in person, but Moss had this message for them.
“And to Lee’s family, we ask you remember Lee will always be a part of the Minot Police Department family,” Moss said. “And to Lee, we thank you for being an example of the best of our profession and department. We miss you, we remember you. Rest easy brother.”
Officer Fahler is buried in his home state of Iowa.
He marks only the second officer in Minot to be killed in the line of duty.