West Fargo Man Involved in Police Shooting Has Lengthy Violent Criminal Background

The alleged shooter in a police standoff Friday night is charged with attempted murder.

Court records show Jan-Michel Wangstad was already a convicted sex offender and bank robber when he allegedly opened fire on West Fargo police.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections website says Wangstad was under their supervision at the time he allegedly pulled the gun from his waistband and fired at officers responding to the call at the hotel.

Jan-Michel Wangstad has been known to law enforcement for years.

He was already a felon in 2011, when he pleaded guilty to trying to rob a Minnesota bank with a fake gun.

“I think we’re treating this the same way we’d treat any other case. But yes, the death of Officer Moszer is in the forefront of everyone’s minds right now,” said Cass County Prosecutor Leah Viste.

The court complaint says police were called here at around one Friday on a report of girls held in a motel room, crying, by a man with a gun.  Given that Wangstad had been convicted in a 2004 case of sexually assaulting a 13 and 15-year-old, you can see why things were tense.

In the case that made him a sex offender, Wangstad had asked both girls “let’s do a threesome…” which they said was “gross because they were sisters.”

“We don’t really get the option of ramping up the charges; we have to work with what we have. Clearly with someone with a criminal past you have to look at it in terms of sentencing, because they’re obviously not someone who gets the point,” said Viste.

He’s now charged with meth possession and felon with a firearm, as well as attempted murder.

It’s unclear where he got the gun Friday.

Wangstad is also facing felony terrorizing charges, after he allegedly told police he had more guns and a grenade and would take out anyone who came in.

I reached out to his family and they said they didn’t want to talk on the record, for fear of making his legal situation worse.

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