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Three Bismarck police officers cleared in a December 'officer involved shooting,' resulting in the death of a suspect

The Burleigh County State’s Attorney has cleared Bismarck police officers in an incident where a 17 year old Bismarck man was shot and killed.

Nicholas Brunington was a suspect in a report of gunfire on Nov. 12, 2023. Eyewitnesses described the shooting, and officers found four shell casings in the area. The witnesses ID’d Brunington as the shooter.

Officers later stopped a vehicle near the Kirkwood Mail, in which Brunington was a passenger. When police told the occupants to come out of the vehicle, Brunington first came out with hands raised, but went back into the car, and came out with a firearm. Officers shot him twice. They performed life-saving measures on him, but he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer concluded the force used by the officers was necessary to arrest Brunington and prevent an escape – and that no criminal charges are warranted.

"This incident is a reminder that the work of our law enforcement officers is extremely dangerous," BPD Deputy Chief Jason Stugelmeyer said at a news conference. "Shooting at victims and presenting a firearm at officers when they attempt to take one into custody is likely to end up in devastating consequences."

Stugelmeyer said thankfully, no officers or bystanders were injured.

"But there was an unfortunate loss of life, due to the suspect's actions," Stugelmeyer said.

The three officers have returned to duty.

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