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Ex-Barnes County jailer accused of firing gunshots at moving vehicle

Sean Blaskowski.

VALLEY CITY, N.D. — A former correctional officer at the Barnes County Correctional Facility is facing felony charges, stemming from an incident in which he's accused of firing four rounds from a handgun at a vehicle on state Highway 1 in Barnes County earlier this month.

Sean Blaskowski, 20, of Valley City, is charged with terrorizing, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault in the Feb. 18 incident, according to Barnes County District Court records.

Blaskowski has a bond hearing at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27. He had been jailed in the Cass County Jail, and was released Friday after posting $2,000 bail, a jailer said.

According to court documents:

Blaskowski was at a party at a home in Litchville about 1 a.m. Feb. 18, and got into an argument and physical altercation with another person. At some point in the fight, Blaskowski brandished a handgun and threatened partygoers, who fled the home.

Three people who had left the party started driving toward Valley City. On Highway 1, a vehicle in the passing lane, in which Blaskowski was a passenger, pulled alongside the vehicle containing the three people.

Blaskowski is accused of then pointing a handgun out of the window of the moving vehicle and firing about four rounds between the vehicles, court documents said.

Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClaflin said Blaskowski resigned his position as a jailer Feb. 18, the day he was arrested. McClaflin said Blaskowski was taken to the Cass County Jail to ensure his safety while in custody.

McClaflin declined to comment further on the case. The Barnes County Sheriff's Office and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating the case, the Barnes County State's Attorney's office said.

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including K-12 education, Fargo city government, criminal justice, and military affairs. He is currently one of The Forum's business reporters.

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