GRAND FORKS — Salamah Pendleton, who is accused of killing two and injuring one in a Grand Forks shootout last month, made an appearance in court Monday, June 29, for an arraignment and preliminary hearing, where that hearing was tentatively rescheduled for Aug. 7. Attorneys assigned to the case cited the need for more time to prepare for the preliminary hearing, where presiding judge Donald Hager will decide whether there is enough probable cause that Pendleton committed the crimes for the case to proceed toward trial.
Pendleton, 41, is accused of opening fire on two Grand Forks County Sheriff's deputies on May 27 when they gained access to his apartment to enforce an eviction notice at his south Grand Forks apartment. According to court documents, Pendleton fired more than 40 rounds from an AK-47 before he was injured by officers' gunfire and taken into custody.
According to law enforcement, the deputies entered the apartment around 2:30 p.m. after Pendleton did not answer multiple calls to let them inside. When they entered, Pendleton allegedly retreated to a bedroom. After he again ignored requests to come out, police say the deputies opened the door and Pendleton opened fire.
According to court documents, the basis for the eviction was multiple months of unpaid rent and a violation of the lease, specifically smoking that occurred on the premises on two occasions.
Lola Moore, 61, who was Pendleton's mother and roommate, was struck in the head during the course of the shootout and died in the apartment. Grand Forks Police Officer Cody Holte, 29, was also struck multiple times in the chest and was pronounced dead at Altru Hospital.
Police declined to comment on whether Pendleton obtained the firearm he used in the shootout legally, citing the ongoing investigation, which is being led by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
Pendleton's bond was set at $1 million cash-only at a preliminary hearing held last month, where a state investigator at the hospital reported that Pendleton remained unconscious and on a ventilator. Pendleton was released to Grand Forks County Correctional Center last week ahead of his June 29 appearance.
Pendleton has been charged with two counts of murder with extreme indifference, three counts of attempted murder, one count of criminal mischief resulting in damage in excess of $10,000, one count of terrorizing and one count of reckless endangerment with extreme indifference. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole if convicted of murder, the most serious of the charges.