The suspected shooter in a standoff Wednesday night that killed a Fargo police officer was charged with murder in Grand Forks in 1988 but later sentenced on a lesser charge.
Marcus Schumacher, 49, died after an eight-hour standoff at his north Fargo home during which he shot at Jason Moszer and other officers. Moszer, 33, died from his wounds Thursday.
Nearly 30 years ago, Schumacher was involved in another shooting, when he was 22.
Schumacher was charged with murder in the death of Maynard Clauthier, 17, and attempted murder of Bradley Boswell, 21, in Grand Forks District Court in October 1988. Ultimately, he was sentenced in 1990 to five years in state prison for negligent homicide in Clauthier's death.
Jay Strande, 48, who grew up with Schumacher, has the same reaction now to Schumacher's suspected involvement in the Fargo shooting as he did nearly 30 years in the Grand Forks shooting.
"I am going to say what I said then," Strande told the Herald Thursday. "It was quite a shock."
When Sarah Smith heard about the shooting in Fargo Wednesday, she was also shocked.
Smith worked as the crime and courts reporter at the Grand Forks Herald from 1984 to 1989, covering the Schumacher murder case.
"The minute I heard the name, I knew it was him," Smith said.
A woman who answered the phone Thursday afternoon at a number listed for Schumacher's wife, Michelle Schumacher, declined to comment.
Court records show Schumacher pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in January 2013 for pushing his wife the previous year.
On Oct. 9, 1988, Schumacher, Clauthier and Boswell got into a confrontation after drinking, and Schumacher shot Clauthier and Boswell in downtown Grand Forks.
Clauthier died one hour after he was wounded in the abdomen. Boswell recovered after he was shot in the shoulder and abdomen.
Schumacher, of Devils Lake at the time, was in Grand Forks for National Guard duty when the shootings occurred. Schumacher said he'd been drinking heavily that night-18 or 19 beers-and was frightened when the two victims chased him down the street after a verbal confrontation.
After entering a plea agreement, Schumacher pleaded guilty Feb. 3, 1989, to reduced charges of manslaughter and reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the shootings-10 years for manslaughter and two for reckless endangerment.
Three months later, Schumacher asked to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming his attorney-Evan Heustis of Devils Lake-wouldn't let him tell his side of the story in court and that his acceptance of a plea bargain was ill-advised.
On July 21, 1989, a judge denied Schumacher's request, so Schumacher made an appeal to the North Dakota Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled March 1, 1990, that Schumacher should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and request a new trial, and Schumacher again faced the charges of murder and attempted murder.
His trial began began Sept. 25, 1990, and five days later, a jury found Schumacher guilty of negligent homicide in the death of Clauthier, and not guilty of either attempted murder or aggravated assault in the shooting of Boswell.
He was sentenced to five years in the state penitentiary. He was released April 2, 1993.
The case gained attention in Grand Forks, leading to tightened security during hearings. A sheriff's officer used a hand-held metal detector to search everyone entering the courtroom.
The case also sparked accusations of racism. Native American leaders in Grand Forks were "outraged" over the jury's decision to find Schumacher guilty of negligent homicide, but not murder. Schumacher was white, and Clauthier was Indian. The jury, composed of 10 women and two men, was all white.
28 years later
While covering the Grand Forks case, Smith said Schumacher "seemed like a frightened little mouse in the courtroom all the time."
"It was just a tough case to cover because it sounded like he was bullied by these kids and reacted out of panic," Smith said.
When Smith interviewed Jay Strande in 1988 after the shooting, Strande described Schumacher as "a really good kid. He had his head on straight."
Strande, who lives in Pine Island, Minn., grew up with Schumacher, and the two were in track and football at Central High School in Devils Lake together.
"We were pretty tight," Strande said. "He was like a second son to my parents."
Strande said he last saw Schumacher in person about three years ago, but the two stayed in contact on Facebook more recently.
"Last time I talked with him, it seemed like everything was going good with him," Strande said.
And then he noticed Schumacher's Facebook post on Wednesday.
Schumacher wrote before the shooting, "Well, it finally happened. Mom, I should have listened to you. You were right. I love my Facebook family. Loved knowing my extended family. Love everyone."
Schumacher attended UND for one year and joined the National Guard. He was sent to officer training school in Texas.
Schumacher testified in his Grand Forks case that he had training in first aid, civil disturbances and shooting at night. He had a lot of training in the use of weapons, he testified.
But on the night of the 1988 shooting, Schumacher said he panicked.
"I thought he overreacted in the case at hand, and I think the jury thought so also," retired attorney Tom Falck, who assisted the prosecution, recalled Thursday. "It was the position of the state that a weapon was not needed at that time."
Wednesday night's shootings brought back memories for Strande from 1988, who said he was "completely blown away again." When he heard the news, he said, "please tell me it isn't about Mark."