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Larimore man arrested after standoff

LARIMORE, N.D. -- What began as a domestic dispute early Thursday turned into a standoff that ended with a Larimore, N.D., man being Tased and arrested by deputies.

LARIMORE, N.D. -- What began as a domestic dispute early Thursday turned into a standoff that ended with a Larimore, N.D., man being Tased and arrested by deputies.

Branden Kuck, 24, reportedly struck his wife and then fired a handgun at least three times inside his family's RV trailer that sits near the town's water tower, according to Maj. Mike Fonder of the Grand Forks Sheriff's Department.

After shots were fired, Kuck's 24-year-old wife fled the home, but two sons, ages 1½ and 6, remained in the RV with their father, officials said.

The wife called the dispatch center shortly before 2 a.m. from her cell phone as she stood across from Larimore Elementary School, according to the emergency log.

Authorities established a perimeter around the home and advised neighbors to leave the area. After about an hour, Kuck emerged from the RV armed with a handgun. He was ordered to drop it, Fonder said.


"When he dropped the weapon, he swung it and it was pointing at several of the officers there," he said.

In that moment, officers could have used deadly force, but it was so brief no one fired, Fonder said.

Unarmed, Kuck ran and got into his 2007 Dodge pickup with Minnesota plates. As the truck was backing up, a deputy who was trying to get inside got wedged against a street sign, suffering minor injuries. Another deputy then joined in to help subdue Kuck, authorities said.

A deputy Tazed Kuck, but he continued driving. A patrol car pulled up to block Kuck's vehicle and deputies were able to arrest him, Fonder said.

Both children were found safe in the home, and a loaded .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol was recovered.

Fonder said the shots fired inside the RV hit two TVs and broke two windows.

Kuck is charged with simple assault-domestic violence, terrorizing, reckless endangerment, discharge of a firearm within city limits, fleeing law enforcement, assaulting a police officer and driving under the influence. He had been drinking before the incident, Fonder said.

Kuck is being held at Grand Forks County jail. A message left for him there was not returned Thursday. His wife declined to comment.


"I think she's still traumatized from what happened," a friend of the woman said.

The woman and her children returned home late Thursday morning as Larimore officers removed yellow police tape that bordered the lot.

Julie McDonald, the family's landlord, said Kuck has a Minnesota driver's license and works on the Keystone Pipeline project. She said Kuck's "clean-cut," "good-looking" family has given her no trouble since moving to the mobile home park about a month ago.

"They seem like a very nice couple," McDonald said.

Linda McMahn, who lives next door to the family, said she and her husband awoke to persistent knocking at 2:30 a.m. It was an officer who told them to evacuate, but didn't elaborate as to why. "They said to leave for a couple hours," she said.

McMahn, 54, and other neighbors who spoke with the Herald were surprised to hear about the standoff. Most slept through the commotion, and none heard shots fired.

"There was a lot of noise," neighbor Alvin Wirtz said. "But I didn't hear no gunshots or nothing."

The Grand Forks regional SWAT and crisis negotiation teams were headed to the scene, but stood down when the situation was resolved, Fonder said.


Ingersoll reports on crime and courts. Reach him at (701) 780-1269; (800) 477-6572, ext. 269; or send e-mail to aingersoll@gfherald.com .

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