• Shalom Baer

Off-campus shooting results in on-campus crash

There was an early Sunday morning shooting near campus on Jan. 12 that ultimately resulted in a car crash on university grounds. According to a Minot Police Department press release, law enforcement responded to a report of gunshots in the 13th Street and 11th Avenue NW area at 6:07 a.m. The intersection of 13th Street and 11th Avenue NW is five blocks west of Minot State. After the report of gunshots, police received a report of a vehicular crash near the Dome. The driver — 29-year-old Dominick Stephens of Minot — had been shot while being pursued by another vehicle off campus and was pronounced dead at Trinity Hospital.

One day after the incident, 22-year-old Marcus Lee, also from Minot, was arrested for conspiracy to commit murder in connection to the shooting. Minot PD said that it is believed Lee was the driver of the vehicle that was pursuing Stephens.

Gary Orluck, director of campus security, said that according to video footage, only one vehicle entered campus, and no gunfire took place on university property.

“Our exterior video cameras did capture the whole crash and the events leading up to the crash coming from the west side of campus. I can definitively say that there were no shots fired near campus. If there would have been a threat on campus, we would have initiated a timely warning to campus to let everyone know to be careful and identifying information that could be a concern,” Orluck said, adding that he is glad no one on campus was hurt during the events.

“We were a little bit shocked when we heard there was a shooting involved,” Orluck said. “I’m just very happy that there wasn’t anyone walking across 11th Avenue or driving on 11th Avenue at the time that the incident occurred.”

The crash occurred the Sunday before the start of the semester when campus is quieter, but there were some students on campus. Tyler Luban, a baseball player at Minot State, said that the team had practice that morning at 6:30 a.m. and he arrived at 6 a.m.

“We didn’t think anything of it at the time. We just thought that it was a pretty bad car accident,” Luban said. “That night, everybody told me that there was someone that got murdered. It was a little more surreal. It looked like someone definitely hit a rock going really fast.”

The vehicle Stephens was driving crashed into a light post and the rock that holds the metal beaver sculpture on the southeastern corner by the Dome.

“The rock moved just a little bit from the impact of the car; it only moved it a couple inches, maybe just enough to wake the beaver up,” Orluck said.

The knocked-over light post is scheduled to be replaced as soon a replacement arrives.

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