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Minot police to hold memorial service for two officers killed on duty 100 years ago


MINOT, N.D. -- The Minot Police Department is planning a memorial service for April 26 to mark the 100 -year anniversary of the department’s first officer killed in the line of duty.

Family members of Minot Police Officer Patrick Devaney and North Dakota Attorney General agent Kersey Gowin, who was with Devaney on an investigation and also died, will be special guests at the event in Memorial Auditorium along with law enforcement officials.

The event will be at 10 a.m.

In that tragedy 100 years ago on April 26, 1918, Devaney and Gowin were attempting to identify and arrest a small group of suspects responsible for a series of area burglaries where automobile tires had been stolen. An area farmer discovered stolen tires left in his field and notified a neighbor who reported it to the Minot Police Department. Outside the city limits, Gowin took over the case but was backed-up by Devaney who volunteered to help.

Upon their arrival in the area, the officers discovered an unoccupied car, and began to search the area but immediately were ambushed and repeatedly shot. Devaney was killed instantly. Gowin fought back returning fire, but did not hit his targets. Gowin died early the next morning at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Minot.

The North Dakota Attorney General investigators, of which Gowin was a member, later became known at the North Dakota Bureau of Investigations.