21-mile procession to follow slain police officer’s funeral
FARGO -- Jason Moszer's funeral on Monday is expected to command the city's attention. The 33-year-old Fargo police officer was fatally shot last week in a standoff on the city's north side. The funeral and ensuing procession, which will weave th...
FARGO -- Jason Moszer's funeral on Monday is expected to command the city's attention. The 33-year-old Fargo police officer was fatally shot last week in a standoff on the city's north side. The funeral and ensuing procession, which will weave through West Fargo, Fargo and Moorhead, are expected to draw thousands. Here are details on how to participate in the day's events and how they will affect the city:
Watching the funeral
The public is invited to attend the 1 p.m. funeral at Scheels Arena, 5225 31st Ave. S., but seating will be limited. Thousands of law enforcement officers are expected to show up at the arena, which seats 5,000 to 6,000.
Carpooling and ridesharing are encouraged because parking will be limited. The public should arrive at the arena via 32nd Avenue from 45th Street South. Officers will help direct attendees. Doors at Scheels Arena will open for the public at 11 a.m.
According to the Moszer family's wishes, small children should not attend the funeral; the public should not record pictures, video or audio; and personal items should be limited to small handbags.
A procession will start from Scheels Arena immediately after the ceremony. The public will be asked to stay seated as members of the procession leave the arena for Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home in Fargo.
The funeral will be broadcast live on inforum.com, wday.com and WDAY Channel 6 starting at 12:30 p.m.
The procession route
The procession will include hundreds of first-responder vehicles, said Cass County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Tim Briggeman. Police said the 21-mile route could take hours to complete.
"The public can pay their respects and show their support along the procession route," the Cass County Sheriff's Office said Friday in a news release.
The route takes the procession north through West Fargo, east through north Fargo into Moorhead, then west across the Red River and south through downtown Fargo before ending at the Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home, 215 7th St. S.
The route passes three significant points; the Moorhead Armory, where Moszer served in the Minnesota National Guard; Sanford Medical Center, where Moszer died Feb. 11 after he was shot the day before; and the headquarters of the Fargo Police Department, where Moszer worked for six years.
No one is allowed in the procession except first responders and family.
Traffic delays expected
The procession will block traffic in several parts of the metro, and the Moorhead and West Fargo school districts are preparing for afternoon school bus delays.
West Fargo Public Schools spokeswoman Heather Konschak said Friday it was too early to tell how many students would be affected by the closure of major intersections along Veterans Boulevard.
The school district emailed parents Thursday night telling them to prepare for potential delays. "We will do our best to keep impacted families up to date," the message said. Konschak said the school district has been working to reroute buses to avoid crossing Veterans Boulevard.
Moorhead Area Public Schools is also preparing for potential school bus delays. Spokeswoman Pam Gibb said two Horizon Middle School routes could be affected and parents are being notified.
Fargo Public Schools does not anticipate any problems, spokeswoman AnnMarie Campbell said.
Officers will be on hand to help people navigate through the procession if necessary, the city of Moorhead said in a statement Friday:
"Roaming police staff will be present to allow access for school buses to remain on time, emergency vehicle response passage, and those needing to get to and from daycare or other unavoidable appointments as best we can but we ask the public for their patience," according to the statement from Moorhead.
The city advised residents to rethink travel plans in light of the procession.
WF, Cass County officers subbing for Fargo PD
Officers from outside the Fargo Police Department will be responding to calls for service in Fargo on Monday so that Fargo police officers can participate in the funeral and procession.
West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan said some of his officers will be taking calls in Fargo for 24 hours starting at 7 a.m. Monday. They will be joined by officers from the Cass County Sheriff's Office and the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
Briggeman of the Cass County Sheriff's Office said it was a "distinct privilege" to help out with some officers after receiving the request from Fargo police.
"We are going to honor that request so that they can, in a sense, honor the loss of their brother," he said.
Hotels do the 'right thing'
The Sleep Inn and Suites in Fargo is one of more than 20 hotels offering discounted or free rooms to members of the Moszer family and law enforcement officers visiting Fargo for Jason Moszer's funeral.
"I count about 22 different hotels that have stepped up," said Charley Johnson, executive director of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And I may not even know about them all."
The Sleep Inn and Suites, 4625 23rd Ave. S., is giving free rooms to family members and heavily discounted rooms to members of the Gunslingers Motorcycle Club, of which Jason Moszer was a member.
"We just felt it was the right thing to do," general manager Brandi Deutsch said.
Jason Moszer died on Feb. 11, a day after he was shot during a standoff by 49-year-old Marcus Schumacher, according to police. Officers had responded to the Schumacher home in north Fargo for a report of a domestic disturbance. Schumacher died at the end of a standoff, either by suicide or police fire.
Forum reporter Adam Watts and WDAY contributed to this report.