GRAFTON, N.D. – Two people, including a Grafton police officer, were shot in an exchange of gunfire Friday night, Aug. 14.
Grafton Police Department officers and a Walsh County Sheriff's deputy attempted to apprehend 37-year-old Ruben Cruz with an outstanding federal warrant out of South Dakota shortly before midnight.
Cruz fled on foot, and, while doing so, fired several rounds at law enforcement, according to a release from the Grafton Police Department. Grafton police officer Lucas Campoverde was shot in the chest by the gunfire, and Cruz was injured when law enforcement fired back, according to investigators.
Both Campoverde and Cruz were transported to Unity Medical Center in Grafton and were later transported to Altru Health System in Grand Forks. Campoverde is in stable condition. The condition of Cruz is not known.
Kayln Hays lives next door to where the warrant was being served. Her family woke up to the gunfire around midnight. She says at first the family thought it was fireworks, but then heard police screaming. They hid in an upstairs bedroom until the shooting stopped.
"Thank God none of them came through our windows, our doors, our walls, we are lucky," she said.
They then looked outside and saw a body in their front yard. They later learned that's where Campoverde went down.
"I can't imagine being an officer and having to deal with that, and the families having to worry about them. I was in tears worrying about the officer," said Hays.
A bullet hole can be seen in a home down the street from Hays, and blood stains can be seen on the ground. The homeowners say a cement wall stopped the bullet. They also say that's where Cruz collapsed.
Hays said police found more than a dozen shell casings in her yard alone, and more than two dozen were found in the neighborhood.
Hays, a CNA at the nearby nursing home says it's been an emotional day for her family.
"I tried to go to work this morning and I didn't even feel comfortable going to work anymore. I didn't feel like I could take care of the people who I am supposed to take care of I'm still shooken up," she said.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation.
Federal investigators say they will also get involved.
Lucas Campoverde worked at WDAZ for two years before beginning his law enforcement career in 2017. He was a key player of our production staff at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., and also worked on our website.