FARGO -- Residents in a neighborhood just north of downtown Fargo say they hid in terror during a shootout overnight Wednesday that left a police officer and a suspected gunman dead.
Paige Smith, 23, said she grabbed her two babies after hearing the first of an estimated 50 gunshots Wednesday night and ran to her basement.
"We stayed there all night," she said. "It was crazy. We just heard gunshot after gunshot after gunshot, and then it would be quiet for 20 minutes, and then you would start hearing it just go again."
Marcus Schumacher, 49, who lived nearby at 308 9th Ave. N., was in a shootout with officers responding to a report of a domestic disturbance.
The shootout left Schumacher and one officer, Jason Moszer, dead. Smith said she heard officers trying to help Moszer.
"We could hear the SWAT team come up, yelling, 'Jason, Jason ... it'll be OK, you'll be OK,' " Smith said. "I told my boyfriend, I said, 'It's just crazy that we're down here protecting our babies while he's out here protecting us, for our babies.' That's what he does. It's just sad that he risked his life to protect us."
Police restricted travel in and out of the neighborhood and told residents to go to their basements when the shooting started.
A family living just south of the Schumacher house did just that. Amy Christensen, 34, said she and her husband brought their 20-month-old son to the basement after a smoke bomb hit their garage.
"It was a little nerve wracking," she said. "We have the little guy to think about."
For the infant, it was just a game. "He kind of thought it was fun being down in the basement, and then he would hear the popping and the gunshots and he would perk up," Christensen said.
But for Christensen, the seemingly endless string of gunshots into the early morning hours were shocking.
"We couldn't believe what was going on," she said. "Oh my gosh, it's 12:30 a.m. It's still going on."
Even more surprising was the identity of the gunman, Schumacher, who neighbors described as a friendly and quiet man who lived with his family.
"That's why it's so crazy," Christensen said. "You don't hear anything from the house ... our dogs bark at each other, (we) talk to each other through the fence a little bit here and there ... they have their grandchildren over there a lot, and they watch the neighbor kids and stuff and I mean, they're just friendly people. This is out of the blue."
Lacy Onstad, 32, agreed.
"I've lived across the street from them for quite a few years, so they were really, really nice," she said. "We weren't great friends or anything, but I did know him."
Onstad stayed away from the area Wednesday night when she heard of the shootout. She returned to her house Thursday afternoon to make sure everything was in order.
"It's absolutely horrifying. I've lived across the street for four or five years ... it's shocking," the mother of two young children said. "I don't even have the words yet. I'm going to leave again for a while, until things settle down a bit."
A woman pulled up and asked Onstad if her sister was OK.
"Yeah, she's not here, but she is OK," Onstad replied.
Jay Hartman, 27, who lives on the same block, was not allowed into the neighborhood Wednesday night and had to stay at someone else's house.
"I was worried that whole night," he said. "I was up all night just thinking about it and then I saw the picture of the house and I thought, 'Oh my, that's just across the street.' "
Dorothy Jaeger, another neighbor, was able to get into her house about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday after church.
The 81-year-old said Schumacher once helped her get rid of a tree that fell in her yard. He seemed like a "real nice guy."
She stayed in her basement Wednesday night.
"It's unreal, what happens. And then we lost one of our good cops."