Law enforcement’s standoff with fugitive Jeremy Mellmer ended early Thursday when Mellmer suffered a “suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound,” according to a Dickinson Police Department report.
The Southwest Tactical Team became involved in a standoff with Mellmer at about 10:35 p.m. Wednesday outside of a house on the 900 block of Ninth Street East after receiving a tip from an owner of a vacant home on the street. Mellmer had fled custody Monday night while being detained in connection to a string of burglaries involving guns.
The standoff ended sometime between midnight and 12:30 a.m. Thursday as tactical team members gained entrance to the house and found Mellmer in the basement in possession of a firearm having allegedly shot himself.
Mellmer, 31, was taken to CHI St. Joseph’s Health in Dickinson and is in custody. His medical condition is unknown.
At about 9:20 p.m., Dickinson Police received a call from a homeowner who reported that an unknown man was in the vacated residence, according to a report released Thursday afternoon by Capt. David Wilkie. Mellmer matched the description provided by the homeowner, who Mellmer allowed to leave the home unharmed.
Residents in the immediate area were asked by law enforcement to stay inside and move to lower levels of their homes as authorities barricaded the block and surrounded the home Mellmer was in. Authorities blocked off the street at the corner of 10th Avenue East and Ninth Street East.
As the standoff began, a member of the team asked Mellmer three times to come out of the house with his hands up before the vehicle pulled back. About a half-hour later, the tactical vehicle went back toward the home, where it remained until the end of the incident. According to a report released Thursday afternoon, the tactical team then began conducting a barricaded subject operation by utilizing various equipment, technology and a K-9 unit.
Mellmer had been considered armed and dangerous since escaping custody during a traffic stop.
Area authorities had searched small towns in southwest North Dakota where Mellmer has known family and associates this week, Dickinson Police Detective Sgt. Kylan Klauzer said Wednesday. Police also used electronic billboard alerts as far away as Bismarck in an effort to help find Mellmer.
Mellmer was found in a house a block to the north from a house police surrounded late Monday night on the 900 block of Eighth Street East. After several hours of attempting to gain access into that home and searching it, police determined Mellmer wasn’t there. They believe he’d been there but had fled before officers arrived.
Three of Mellmer’s accomplices — Brittany Bruntmyer, James Gannon and Jimmy Monday, all of Dickinson — have been charged in Southwest District Court in connection to the burglaries and are being held at the Southwest Multi County Correctional Center.
The Stark County Sheriff’s Office, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Dickinson Fire Department assisted with the incident.