FARGO – Officer Jason Moszer isn’t the first man Marcus Schumacher is accused of shooting and killing.
More than a quarter-century ago, the one-time Eagle Scout was charged with the murder of a 17-year-old and attempted murder of a 21-year-old in Grand Forks.
Schumacher beat those charges, but was sentenced to five years for negligent homicide and served four in the State Penitentiary. He was released early, in part for good behavior.
Decades later, the 49-year-old Devils Lake native is believed to have shot and killed a six-year veteran of the Fargo Police Department, before being fatally shot himself. Fargo police do not know whether he was killed by their gunfire or by suicide.
Officer Moszer, 33, died from the gunshot wound at 12:45 p.m. Thursday, following an eight-hour standoff at Schumacher’s north Fargo home Wednesday night.
Police went to the home after a 7 p.m. report of a domestic disturbance, when Schumacher is believed to have threatened his wife, Michelle Schumacher, and possibly shot at her.
Court records show he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in January 2013 for pushing his wife the previous year.
Police say the couple's son made the 911 call Wednesday, and about the same time, Marcus Schumacher wrote on Facebook: “Well it finally happened. Mom I should have listened to you. You were right. I love my facebook family. Loved knowing my extended family. Love everyone.”
A woman who answered Michelle Schumacher’s phone Thursday declined to comment.
As police surrounded the home Wednesday night, Marcus Schumacher opened fire in the residential neighborhood. Police Chief Dave Todd said Thursday he believed Schumacher was purposefully shooting at police.
Schumacher, a former member of the National Guard, testified in 1990 that he had training in shooting at night and at multiple targets.
That was at Schumacher’s trial regarding the 1988 shooting of Maynard Clauthier, then 17, and Bradley Boswell, then 21, in Grand Forks.
Clauthier died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen, but Boswell recovered and testified at the trial, telling a different version than Schumacher.
Schumacher testified that the men called him a derogatory name and followed him to his car. He grabbed his gun because he was scared, then accidentally fired it, he said.
Boswell, however, testified that he and Clauthier approached Schumacher’s car and tapped the window, before 22-year-old Schumacher rolled down the window and shot them both, as Clauthier held out his hands and said, “Don’t shoot.”
“I thought he overreacted in the case at hand, and I think the jury thought so also,” retired attorney Tom Falck, who assisted the prosecution, recalled Thursday. “It was the position of the state that a weapon was not needed at that time.”
Schumacher was found guilty of negligent homicide, a felony, but not guilty of murder or manslaughter. He was also found not guilty of attempted murder or aggravated assault in the shooting of Boswell.
He was sentenced to five years, but served just four in the state penitentiary, where he was released April 2, 1993. Good behavior and previous jail time contributed to his early release, said Michelle Linster, spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Corrections.
In North Dakota, felons convicted of violent crimes can legally possess firearms starting 10 years after their release dates. It was unclear Thursday whether or not Schumacher had legally acquired the firearms he used in his standoff with police.