Names Released, Autopsy Ordered Following Stand-Off

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An autopsy has been ordered in the death of a Grand Forks man who died in custody following an hours long stand-off with police Monday.

Samuel Nelson, 36, died just after 7pm after being transferred from the Grand Forks County Jail to Altru Hospital Monday night.

Nelson’s arrest followed a five hour stand-off with police at an apartment building on 14th Avenue South. Nelson was wanted on a number of active warrants and was said to have surrendered peacefully right around 5:30pm.

Officials say he was evaluated by paramedics previous to his booking but was found unresponsive by corrections staff an hour later. During the stand-off Nelson had barricaded himself into an attic area crawl space with temperatures that reached well into the 80’s but officials say only the Medical Examiner’s report will reveal whether that was a factor in Nelson’s death.

Meanwhile, Grand Forks Police yesterday released the identity of the victim in Sunday’s Officer Involved Shooting on 22nd Street South.

John Murphy III, 41, was shot and died after refusing to put down the firearm he was holding.

Cpl. Jordan Drees and Officer Michael Ruit, the two officers involved in the shooting, have been placed on standard administrative leave, the case under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Investigation.

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