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Family of Mapleton man fatally shot by police asks for privacy, says they're cooperating with investigators

Legal action is the farthest thing from the Martinez family’s mind, their attorney said, noting they are focused on grief and cooperating with investigators.

Andrew Martinez.jpeg
Andrew Martinez.
Submitted photo
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FARGO — The family of a Mapleton, North Dakota, man killed by police officers is asking for privacy in the wake of his death.

In a Wednesday, Aug. 3, statement to The Forum, Andrew Martinez’s family said they are cooperating with law enforcement as officers investigate what happened leading up to his death Monday afternoon in Mapleton.

“We ask that our privacy is respected as that investigation proceeds and as our family grieves the loss of our loved one,” the family said in the statement.

Fargo attorney Tim O'Keeffe issued the statement on the family’s behalf. It is common for the families of those shot and killed by law enforcement to seek legal advice, especially when investigators and media are trying to contact them, he said.

Legal action is the farthest thing from the Martinez family’s mind, O'Keeffe said, noting they are focused on grief and cooperating with investigators.

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The statement came a day after law enforcement identified the 35-year-old Martinez as the man involved in a standoff with law enforcement. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to Mapleton around 10:30 a.m. Monday for a report of shots fired.

Dispatch also received a report of a man suffering from a mental health crisis, Sheriff Jesse Jahner said.

As officers arrived at the scene, they heard more gunshots, Jahner said. No shots were fired at law enforcement at that time.

While on scene, law enforcement also learned of reported criminal activity that may have contributed to Martinez’s mental state, Jahner said. He declined to elaborate on the criminal activity, as it was under investigation.

However, Jahner clarified to The Forum on Wednesday that Martinez was a suspect and not a victim in that reported criminal event.

The Sheriff’s Office requested backup from police departments in Fargo and West Fargo. Officers negotiated with Martinez, asking him to come out unarmed, Jahner said.

Martinez told officers he would come out with his weapon, which he did around 3 p.m. Monday, Jahner said. That’s when four Fargo Police officers, identified Tuesday as Sergeant Travis Moser, detective Josh Heller, detective Ryan Jasper and investigator Jordan Korte, shot and killed Martinez.

It’s unclear if Martinez fired at officers as he exited the home.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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