Customer disarmed suspect during fatal Minot bar shooting, police say

Justin McDermott, 34, of Minot, faces a felony charge of murder after police said he shot another man at the Lamplighter Lounge multiple times.

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MINOT โ€” A man has been charged with murder after police alleged he fatally shot another at a Minot bar early Friday morning, Dec. 30.

The Ward County State's Attorney's Office filed the felony charge midday Friday against Justin McDermott, 34, of Minot. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.

Minot police responded around 1:40 a.m. Friday to the Lamplighter Lounge, 200 16th St. SW, for a report of gunshots, according to a news release. A man not identified by police was shot multiple times and died at the scene, police said.

Court documents said the victim was standing near the south entrance of the bar minutes before 911 dispatchers received a call for the shooting. The man appeared in video to be yelling and making gestures at someone, according to a criminal complaint.

A woman was seen trying to push the victim outside while McDermott followed, the complaint said.


Once outside, McDermott stared at the woman and victim before going inside the bar, the complaint said. A few minutes later, McDermott came back out of the bar and started punching the victim, the complaint said. The two fell to the ground before McDermott began shooting the other man, according to the complaint.

Bar patrons saw the shooting, police said. One customer punched McDermott in the face, rendered him unconscious and disarmed the suspect, according to a criminal complaint. The man detained McDermott until authorities arrived, the release said.

Police found a Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm handgun at the scene, according to court documents.

McDermott was taken to the Ward County Jail. A mugshot of him was not available when The Forum requested one Friday morning, jail staff said.

The Lamplighter is a bar near Perkett Elementary School and the Souris Valley Golf Course in southwest Minot.

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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