Bureau of Indian Affairs agents detained the man, whose name has not been released, and turned him over to the FBI, according to BIA spokeswoman Nedra Darling. The FBI, in turn, handed the man over to local law enforcement, according to an FBI spokeswoman.
Documents found in the man’s Chevy Silverado pickup suggest he was a Dakota Access Pipeline security guard in a company-owned truck, the Standing Rock Sioux statement said. The tribe posted photos of insurance papers linking the vehicle to the pipeline. Mother Jones reported there was an employee ID badge in the pickup. Protesters, who prefer to be called water protectors, later set the vehicle on fire, according to Mother Jones.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier on Friday said the man, a contractor providing security, was indeed armed, but “that was more or less in self defense.” The man fired no shots, Kirchmeier said during a press conference, and was not wounded by gunfire.
Friday’s accounts differ in several respects from what authorities said on Thursday. The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services had said the man was a “private individual” who was shot in the hand by protesters. The department’s spokesman said the man was armed, but didn’t indicate whether he’d fired any shots.
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