In wake of Grand Forks apartment shooting, information about alleged shooter and fatally shot woman remains scant

Salamah Pendleton, 41, and Lola Moore, 61, had lived in an apartment at 2627 S. 17th St. since May 2019, and they both appear to have strong Iowa ties. Beyond that, little is known about Pendleton, who was wounded in a firefight with Grand Forks law enforcement Wednesday, or Moore, who died of fatal gunshot wounds during the shooting.

Bystanders gather outside an apartment complex following Wednesday's shooting in the 2600 block of S. 17th St. in Grand Forks. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

After a shootout in Grand Forks left two dead and two wounded Wednesday, May 27, there was an outpouring of support and remembrance for Grand Forks Police Officer Cody Holte, who died from his injuries, and Grand Forks Sheriff's Cpl. Ron Nord, who was hospitalized for wounds to his leg and abdomen.

But two days after gunfire erupted at 2627 S. 17th St., information remains scant about the tenants of apartment No. 303.

Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office deputies were sent to the apartment Wednesday to evict the two tenants: Lola Moore, 61, and Salamah Pendleton, 41. Pendleton – who initiated the shooting, according to police accounts – suffered multiple gunshot injuries and was transported to Altru Hospital. Moore suffered fatal gunshot wounds during the course of the shooting and died in the apartment.

Court documents obtained by the Herald show that the landlord initiated eviction proceedings because of unpaid rent and violation of the lease they signed in May 2019. Specifically, the complaint alleges Moore and Pendleton owed $1,500 in unpaid rent for the apartment, rented to them for $650 a month. The complaint also alleges that the defendants engaged in smoking on the premises on two occasions, a violation of community rules, according to the lease agreement.

According to court documents, the landlord – listed in the complaint as HDI, LLC, a Grand Forks-based property management company – delivered a Notice of Intent to Evict to Pendleton and Moore. Such notices give tenants three days to either pay unpaid rent or vacate the premises. If tenants do not vacate or pay the owed rent, it is standard practice for the landlord to initiate legal eviction proceedings. As part of these proceedings, it is also standard practice for county deputies to go to the property, with a judge's order, to remove the tenants from the premises.


According to Grand Forks County Sheriff Andy Schneider, Nord and Sheriff's Cpl. Kelly McClean arrived at apartment No. 303 around 2:24 p.m. Wednesday to do just that. Information about what happened in the apartment is limited, due to the active and ongoing nature of the investigation, which is now being led by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

According to police accounts, Nord and McLean knocked on the apartment door but received no answer. They eventually gained access to the apartment, where Pendleton had retreated to a bedroom. The deputies repeatedly asked Pendleton to come out, police said, and when he didn't they opened the door. According to police accounts, that is when Pendleton open fired. The deputies retreated and called for assistance, a call that was answered by Grand Forks Police Officer Cody Holte and Cpl. Patrick Torok.

Friday afternoon, it was announced Pendleton would be charged with two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, one count of criminal mischief in excess of $10,000, one count of terrorizing and one count of reckless endangerment.

It is unclear how Pendleton and Moore knew each other, although they both appear to have strong ties to Waterloo, Iowa. Through court documents and other public records, they appear to be related, although the exact relation is hazy and could not be confirmed by the Herald prior to publication.

Almost no information has been made available about the personal lives of Pendleton and Moore, and much of what the Herald has learned comes from official documents, such as court documents. A family member of Pendleton, reached this week by the Herald, declined to speak on the record, since their family is also still trying to piece together what happened.

Pendleton has a history of traffic violations and criminal misdemeanors in both Iowa and North Dakota, going back to 1996 in Iowa and 2015 in North Dakota. Most of his misdemeanor offenses occurred in Polk and Black Hawk Counties in Iowa, and include domestic assault, drug offenses, eluding and interference with official acts. In North Dakota, his criminal history involves mostly traffic violations, with two misdemeanor driving under suspension charges, as well as an outstanding child support balance of more than $24,000 as of May 2019.

His social media profile lists his profession as a commercial painter and carpenter, and says he is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Most photos he has posted on the account appear to be of family. Although police and most court documents spell his name Salamah, Pendleton appears to spell his own name Salammah, and signed it that way on legal documents obtained by the Herald.

No further information has been found about Moore or the life she lived, and family members could not be reached prior to publication.

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