16-year-old expected to be charged with murder in Bismarck motel shooting

The teen was arrested in northwest Minnesota and authorities aim to extradite him to Burleigh County. Murder cases are typically moved from juvenile to adult court.

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BISMARCK — A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in northwest Minnesota after police said the teen fatally shot a 28-year-old man at a Bismarck motel.

The teen was taken into custody Saturday morning, Sept. 24, in Warren, Minnesota, about 30 miles northeast of Grand Forks. Bismarck police allege that he killed 28-year-old Maurice Thunder Shield.

Thunder Shield, of McLaughlin, South Dakota, was found with a gunshot wound to his chest at about 12:40 a.m. Friday at the Motel 6, 2433 State St. in Bismarck, according to police. He was declared dead at a hospital, police said.

Evidence and witness interviews led investigators to believe the boy shot Thunder Shield and left the hotel, police said.

Authorities did not disclose the name of the 16-year-old, nor did they comment on a motive for the shooting.


Juvenile cases are typically sealed from public record unless a defendant is tried in adult court.

A murder charge against a juvenile is typically prosecuted in adult court in North Dakota. The boy will be extradited to Burleigh County at an unknown date, police said.

The suspect's "name will be released when an arraignment occurs and it is officially in adult court," Bismarck Police Lt. Luke Gardiner said.

Murder in North Dakota carries a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole and an minimum of four years behind bars if a dangerous weapon, such as a gun, was used in the killing.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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