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Neighbors, friends speak out after Devils Lake officer-involved shooting

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DEVILS LAKE, N.D.  - It all started with 911 calls.

Police say people living nearby reported a man breaking into homes and it ended with one man dead here by these railroad tracks in Devils Lake.

Gun shots ring out through a Devils Lake trailer court.

"Our kids could've been in the line of fire possibly," Neighbor Michael Green said. 

And neighbors are worried for their families. 

"The thought of it happening is just kind of scary,” Green said. “You know, especially with how many kids are running around in the neighborhood and they play.”

Police say they got a flood of 911 calls around 4:30 Thursday afternoon in the neighborhood behind Home of Economy. 

And they initially sent a couple officers to scope out the area. 

"Report was that the suspect was breaking into houses hiding behind bushes and being very suspicious," Devils Lake Police Chief Joe Knowski said. 

But they say 26-year-old Daniel Fuller wouldn't stop for police.

"We responded the suspect took off on foot and scaled some fence and then eventually our officers found that suspect," Knowski said.

Neighbors tell Forum News Service the man climbed a fence after running from officers for about a few hundred feet.

After that is when they heard the shots. 

The new police chief says one officer fired his gun during a struggle with Fuller, but police are keeping tight lipped about why they shot the career criminal or how many times they shot him.

“I'm not going to elaborate on that until our investigation is done with the BCI. They'll come out with the findings and then we'll be able to have a better, clear view," Knowski said.

While police are identifying the man they killed - they refused to release the name of the officer who fired the fatal shot. That officer is on paid administrative leave while the Bureau of Criminal Investigation looks into the case, which is protocol. 

The chief says the officer is shaken. 

"It's really fresh right now,” Knowski said. “As to the events that took place and so we're going to allow that to manifest and have the BCI come through with a conclusion and then we'll go from there."

Fuller's friends tell Forum News Service they think he was not armed, even calling this a case of police brutality. 

Police confirm officers do have body cameras but they weren't on during the shooting and the chief would not tell Forum News Service why. 

The chief says dash cam video caught the encounter and has been turned over to the BCI. Neighbors say this case won't change how they feel about the department. 

"I'm pretty confident that the police were basically doing their job,” Greene said. “I get along with them fairly well. They've helped us out with you know problems in the past 

As family, friends and a community wait for answers.

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