Locals in rural northeast North Dakota are in shock after four people were killed in a murder-suicide on a nearby farm on Monday, August 29.
Several locals the Herald contacted to declined to comment on the record about the tragedy since they were still trying to process the news. They did, however, express their condolences to the affected families. Neighborhood farmers are banding together to harvest the crops of those at fault.
Andy Hillier, sheriff of Towner County, claims this is the first time his office has faced an incident of this magnitude.
Although Hillier has worked for the sheriff’s office since 2004, he claims that this is the first time something like this has happened.
The incident took place on Monday, August 29 on a farm west of Maza, North Dakota.
Monday about 6 o’clock in the evening, deputies were called to a wheat field in the 6100 block of 66th Street Northeast on a complaint of four unconscious people. According to a department statement released on Tuesday, police found four victims with gunshot wounds upon arrival.
According to the press release, there was evidence at the site that points to the crime having been a murder-suicide. One of the dead had a gun on them when they were found. According to Hillier of Forum News Service, all four suspects worked together.
The identities of those involved are being suppressed pending notification of relatives. It was stated in the announcement that the investigation is still ongoing and that more details will be provided at a later date.
According to Hillier, detectives have yet to determine a motive for the shooting.
All evidence has been processed, Hillier said, and it’s up to the family to determine what to do with the farm equipment now that part of it has bullet holes in it.
He remarked, “It’s a pretty big scene.”
Towner County Sheriff’s Office deputies were aided by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and other local law enforcement organizations. Hillier has stated that there is no imminent danger to the general public.
Around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, the Towner County Sheriff’s Office announced on Facebook that they were at a crime scene with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Located in southwest Towner County, not far to the northwest of Devils Lake, was the little community of Maza, North Dakota. The town of five people was disbanded in 2002, according to Grand Forks Herald archives.
Cando is to the north, and Niles and Leeds are to the southwest. It’s around 117 miles west-northwest of Grand Forks and right next to Devils Lake.