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Man facing charges after gun firing incident

By Staff | Apr 25, 2014


A 45-year-old Rugby man was arrested Monday and charged with reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and discharging a firearm within city limits.

David D. Kramer was taken into custody after a brief standoff with police about 9 p.m. Monday, according to a press release from the Rugby Police Department.

A Rugby officer responded to the 400 block of 2nd Street SW to a report of gun shots. A second report said that a man was armed and shooting. Three shots were heard when the officer arrived and he called for backup. The suspect appeared distraught and suicidal, according to the release.

The entire police department responded with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation helping surround a travel trailer in a backyard on the block. The subject exited the trailer and fired the gun into the air again and in the direction of Pierce County Sheriff Matt Lunde. Rugby Police Chief John Rose said the suspect was unaware of the location of officers.

Officers ordered the suspect to drop his gun. The man hid the gun, but refused commands to surrender. The subject tried to reach a nearby parked vehicle, but a taser was used to subdue the individual.

The suspect was taken by ambulance to Heart of America Medical Center for a medical evaluation prior to being transported to Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center.

Officers found a loaded .357 magnum revolver in the vehicle the suspect attempted to enter, as well as multiple spent rounds of the same caliber inside the travel trailer.

No officers were injured in the incident. A criminal records search showed no previous charges against Kramer. Reckless endangerment is a Class C felony, which carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and up to $5,000 in fines. Discharging a firearm within city limits is a Class B misdemeanor, carrying a maximum sentence of 30 days imprisonment and a maximum of $1,000 in fines.

Law enforcement was assisted by Rugby Fire Department and Rugby Ambulance.

The tasers were purchased about a month ago and RPD was certified to use them for the first time.

“They were extremely important,” Rose said. “In this case, it was a force option which prevented injury to the suspect and the officers, that wasn’t available to us before.”

Rose was pleased with the collaboration of the various responders and heaped praise on the Rugby Fire Department for blocking off traffic in the area and providing lighting on the scene after the incident. The ultra-bright lights are part of the fire department’s new rescue unit, which was delivered in December.

“Bottom line is no officers got hurt, so it went well,” Rose said. “Are there better things we can do in the future? Probably. It was a good learning experience for something we don’t deal with much.”

Rose said one of his biggest concerns is the amount of traffic with onlookers. He urges people to stay inside when police are responding to an incident. Police can visit with concerned residents after, if need be.

Similar incident occurred five

years ago

RPD arrested two Oregon men in 2009 for reckless endangerment, hindering law enforcement and discharging a firearm within city limits. A search of the men’s residence at Eastgate mobile home park found two assault-type rifles, magazines, ammunition and spent casings, according to a Tribune report. One of the men was convicted of the felony charge, but the other charges were dismissed.

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