- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The two officer-involved shootings that have occurred in Bismarck in less than two weeks are “concerning” on several fronts, according to Bismarck Police Chief Dan Donlin.

Both incidents are concerning for the community, as well as for the officers and their families, Donlin said.

“To have two back-to-back (shootings) really creates a difficult situation,” he said. “Now, we present this dangerous situation where the officer might hesitate to fire when they might be justified in shooting.”

The Bismarck Police Department is down three officers who are now on paid administrative leave after the shootings.

Two officers on Sunday night shot a 26-year-old Bismarck man after he ignored commands from officers and reached for what was believed to be a weapon in his vehicle.

The suspect survived and was arrested on a felony burglary warrant after being treated for gunshot wounds. The state’s attorney’s office will determine whether he will face additional charges.

Another officer on Jan. 23 shot an 18-year-old Mandan man after he ignored the officer’s commands and allegedly drove a stolen vehicle toward him. The condition of the suspect hasn’t been released.

Officers use deadly force as “a last resort,” said the police chief, who fatally shot a suspect in 2003 during a 14-hour standoff.

“No officer ever wants to get involved in something like this,” he said. “It is very difficult on an officer - from experience - to go through this psychologically and emotionally.”

There have been four officer-involved shootings in Bismarck since 2013, including the two most recent, according to Donlin.

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