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'I watched my boyfriend die:' Girlfriend of man killed by police on Spirit Lake Reservation describes deadly traffic stop

Kaylee Dauphinais watched as a Bureau of Indian Affairs agent shot and killed her boyfriend during a traffic stop.

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FORT TOTTEN, N.D. — ''I want to get him back," said Kaylee Dauphinais, referring to her 44-year-old boyfriend, David Suarez.

The FBI says he was shot and killed by a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer during a traffic stop the evening of Wednesday, March 17, along state Highway 57 near the intersection of U.S. Highway 281.

"I watched my boyfriend die in front of me," she said.

Dauphinais, who was in the car along with two other family members, said a deputy tried to pull her boyfriend over near Devils Lake on a warrant for failing to pay $600 in fines from a police chase three years ago in the region.

Dauphinais said Suarez finally stopped after the lengthy chase throughout the Spirit Lake Reservation.

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"He got out of the car and tried to run. He didn't want to go to jail," she said.

Dauphinais said Suarez was almost hit by another squad car and quickly realized he was trapped and put his hands up. To her knowledge, she said, her boyfriend had only a pocketknife, and she wasn't sure if he pulled it out.

"He jumped and backed away, and then all of a sudden he got Tased and then got shot," she said.

"Something had to happen for that officer to pull the weapon, so that's what we are going to get to the bottom of," said FBI spokesman Kevin Smith.

Dauphinais said the father of six was killed after being shot twice. One shot hit his neck, and the other hit his stomach.

"I couldn't do anything because I had a gun drawn on me," she said.

The FBI, which was not involved in the chase, is investigating the deadly shooting. They will turn their findings over to federal prosecutors at the end of the investigation to determine if the officer was justified.

"All the questions the public has, the media has, are the same questions we have, and we just have to be very diligent in searching all of those facts out," Smith said.

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David Suarez's family is demanding answers, saying he was only trying to run, not battle the police.

"I feel they went too far. They took it way too far," Dauphinais said.

The BIA officer involved in the shooting was not hurt, and their identity has not been released.

The FBI said Dauphinais and her two family members who were in the car are not facing any charges.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTSEXCLUSIVE
Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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