- Associated Press - Thursday, July 6, 2017

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota prosecutor has concluded that an officer who fatally shot an ex-Marine while responding to a domestic dispute in Mandan was justified.

Morton County Assistant State’s Attorney Gabrielle Goter made her decision after reviewing the shooting, The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/2uOnJXF ) reported.

Mandan Police spokesman Lt. Pat Haug said the shooting death of ex-Marine Ivan Wilson was a tragic example of an officer trying to avoid pulling his gun. He said Sgt. Nickolas Pynnonen “tried everything in his power to stop” the shooting from occurring.

“There was an exhaustive review, and the State determined that Sgt. Pynnonen’s actions were warranted under the circumstances,” said Pynnonen’s attorney, Justin Vinje. “In my own opinion, Nick probably saved someone’s life that day, and I know that he is doing his best to move forward and continue serving the community.”

Pynnonen said he found Wilson holding a kitchen knife in an apartment bedroom with a woman whose name is redacted in reports. He said that after pulling the woman out of the bedroom, he tried using a Taser on Wilson in an effort to keep him from harming himself, but shot Wilson after he got back up and turned the knife on him.

But a high school classmate of Wilson said friends and family are questioning whether police could’ve tried harder to talk to him because he might have posed a greater danger to himself than police.

“He was just a veteran having a PTSD moment,” said Larissa Danks, a radio announcer in New Town, who has talked about the situation with Wilson’s family. “They thought he was trying to harm her, but he was trying to harm himself and she was trying to stop him.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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