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Family of Mapleton father killed during police standoff remember him as kind and caring

The family of Andrew Martinez says they appreciate the community support.

Andrew Martinez.jpeg
Andrew Martinez
Submitted Photo by Martinez Family
We are part of The Trust Project.

MAPLETON, N.D. — The family of the Mapleton father who was shot and killed by police during an armed standoff earlier this week say they want to know what went wrong. They want to share their story as they remember their husband, son and brother as loving and kind.

Police say the 35-year-old was having a mental health crisis when he came out of his home with a rifle. They are still trying to process the events of earlier this week , so they asked their lawyer to speak on their behalf.

"The family has a lot of questions as to how they ended up in this position," said the family's attorney Tim O'Keefe.

Martinez was shot and killed by four officers Monday, Aug.1, after a four-hour standoff at his home in Mapleton.

"A very hardworking and caring individual, kind of guy that would go out of his way to make someone else feel better, just because he knows the struggles and just wanted to look out for other people," said O'Keefe.

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Police say the husband and father of five young children was experiencing a mental health crisis Monday when this all started. They believe Martinez may have also committed a crime that morning which added to the already intense situation.

Neither police nor the family are willing to discuss yet what that crime may have been.

They also did not want to discuss how long Martinez may have been dealing with mental health issues.

"A lot of things will come out eventually, but right now the focus of the family is on their own family, on themselves, the children that are left behind here, the family is really focused on working through that grieving process and working with law enforcement," said O'Keefe.

Martinez was shot after police say he came out with what appeared to be a rifle. The sheriff says his father and brother were part of the negotiations that day, and likely heard the events unfold at the end.

O'Keefe did not want to answer if the family has taken a position on the use of force, but said it's common for families of loved ones who are involved in officer-involved shootings to hire an attorney.

"The family is cooperating with law enforcement and supportive of their efforts to look into the situation and events surrounding it," said O'Keefe.

They did say the community and even strangers have been a big help with the grieving process.

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"They're very appreciative of everybody reaching out asking if there is anything they can do, they can't say anything more than they are very thankful," said O'Keefe.

A prayer service for Andrew Martinez will be held this weekend.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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