FBI Minneapolis
Public Affairs Officer Kevin W. Smith
(763) 569-8095
May 18, 2021

FBI—Fargo Federal Building Incident

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—The FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office is conducting an investigation into the death that took place yesterday, May 17, in a courtroom at the Federal Courthouse in Fargo, North Dakota.

Following a guilty verdict and after the jury left the courtroom, 55-year-old Jeffrey S. Ferris of Belcourt, North Dakota, used an easily concealable instrument to take his own life. Mr. Ferris died in the courtroom. An autopsy is being conducted today at the University of North Dakota Forensic Pathology—Forensics and Autopsy Services facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Ferris had been found guilty of Reckless Endangerment, Terrorizing, and Use of a Firearm in Relation to a Felony Crime of Violence. The mandatory minimum sentence was seven years in federal prison. Mr. Ferris was found not guilty of eight counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

The FBI’s responsibility in this investigation is to determine whether there was any violation of federal criminal laws. If any violations would be discovered, the matter would be turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota.

The U.S. Marshal Service is responsible for physical security of the Federal Courthouse in Fargo. Officials there will review their security procedures to ensure the safety of the courthouse family and those visiting the facility.