FARGO — Authorities have identified two men involved in a trespassing incident that led to a shooting Monday night, May 10, in north Fargo.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested 41-year-old James J. Mayerhofer after being called around 10 p.m. to a home at 1212 49th Ave. N. A homeowner, 59-year-old Joseph Larson, requested help, claiming Mayerhofer would not leave the property, a news release said.
The two men did not know each other, according to law enforcement.
At some point, Larson started shooting at Mayerhofer’s vehicle, but Mayerhofer was not hit, Sheriff Jesse Jahner said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. It’s unclear how many shots were fired or what type of weapon Larson used, though officers confiscated two weapons.
A weapon was not discovered on Mayerhofer, Jahner said. It’s unknown why Larson fired at the alleged trespasser.
Larson was not injured in the incident, Jahner said.
When deputies arrived, Mayerhofer tried to drive away but crashed into a tree on the property. He was treated by medical staff then taken to the Cass County Jail, according to the release.
Mayerhofer is being held on pending charges of driving under the influence of drugs, refusing to submit to a chemical test and fleeing in a motor vehicle. Jahner said he didn’t know what drugs Mayerhofer was allegedly on, but his office is awaiting drug test results.
Larson was also detained, but he was not arrested on any charges, Jahner said. The Cass County State's Attorney's Office plans to review the case to decide whether Larson will face charges.
A message left for Larson was not returned as of Tuesday afternoon.
State’s Attorney Birch Burdick said he was hesitant to say if self-defense could apply in this case since his office hasn’t had time to review the facts of the incident. Typically, residents have a right to protect themselves, others and property, though they are supposed to use the minimum amount of force required, he added.
Deadly force can be used in North Dakota if a person can’t escape a life-threatening situation.
The North Dakota Legislature passed a “stand-your-ground” law this year that expands a person’s ability to use deadly force for self-defense outside the home or workplace.
That law doesn’t go into effect until Aug. 1.