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Wrigley: Fargo officer's actions were justified in deadly July shooting

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D. Webster
Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski showing dashcam video from an officer involved shooting earlier this summer to reporters.

28-year-old Shane Netterville died in the incident.

North Dakota’s Attorney General has determined that a Fargo police officer acted reasonably and lawfully during an officer-involved shooting earlier this summer.

Drew Wrigley told reporters during a news conference at the Fargo Police Department that no criminal charges will be filed against officer Adam O’Brien, a ten-year veteran with the department.

On the morning of July 8, officers were dispatched to a residential area where a van was described as being parked in an apartment complex garage with three people slumped over inside, and a bullet hole in the windshield. Wrigley says three officers, including O’Brien approached the vehicle and all three people inside began to move. He says 28-year old Shane Netterville was shot after refusing to comply with requests from the officers.

"They repeatedly directed that the individuals show their hands. It was loud, it was clear, and it was enunciated multiple times. Cody Dunn, another passenger in the vehicle with Shane Netterville, and confirmed he heard those commands and that Netterville was not complying with the officers demands. He kept moving his hands up and down out of view of the officers. Derek Stanley gave a similar account when he was questioned by police, about Netterville's hand movements going up and down while he was sitting in the vehicle. Both of the other occupants in the vehicle were imploring Netterville to comply with the demands of the officer, including that he not start the vehicle."

Wrigley says Netterville started the car twice before driving it out of the garage toward the officers, effectively turning the car into a weapon. One shot was fired, hitting Netterville in the chest. The car then crashed into another apartment complex garage across the street.

Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski showed both dashcam and bodycam footage of the incident.

Zibolski says O’Brien then removed Netterville from the vehicle and performed medical aid. Netterville passed away later that day at a Fargo hospital.

Two other officer-involved shootings in Fargo are currently being investigated. Zibolski says that while July was active for these types of incidents, they are overall very rare for Fargo.

"In 2021 our department responded to nearly 54,000 calls for service. Use of force was needed to effectuate arrest 61 times. That's 0.11 percent - less than half a percentage point of all of those calls. The vast majority of those - fifty of them - involved mere physical restraint versus the use of other weapons."

Wrigley says the investigation into the incident by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation shows the officers showed more than enough restraint during the incident, and acted appropriately.

O’Brien will return to work with Fargo Police early next month.