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Montana man dies in an NDHP trooper involved shooting

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Dave Thompson
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Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier (at the lectern) and Highway Patrol Major Tom Iverson at a Capitol news conference

A 45-year-old Billings, Montana man is dead after being shot by a North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper west of Mandan on I-94.

At about 7:43 pm Tuesday, state radio received a call about a reckless driver eastbound about 7 miles east of Hebron.

"He was reported for erratic driving, or a possible reckless or drunk driver," said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. "The report came in that he was all over the road."

Morton County deputies tried to get the vehicle to stop, using spike strips.

Patrol Major Tom Iverson said the trooper was able to stop the vehicle. He said the trooper got out of his squad, and gave the driver several loud commands, to exit the vehicle with his hands up.

"The trooper informed the other officers on scene that the suspect had a gun," Iverson told reporters.

Iverson said at about 8:18 pm, the trooper fired one round from his duty weapon – and 45 year old Craig Knutson was killed. Iverson said a gun was recovered from Knutson’s car.

The trooper – who has not been identified – is on administrative leave – standard procedure in a case like this. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Morton County States Attorney’s office are investigating.