An anniversary just passed in North Dakota of a dark event that's still  fresh in the minds of many.

On February 13, 1983 Heaton farmer and outspoken tax resistor Gordon Kahl took part in a shootout that killed two U.S. Marshals near Medina. Three other officials were wounded, including a Medina Police Officer.

Gordon Kahl became a national sensation after the shooting, generating debate and eventually inspiring a TV movie starring Rod Steiger.

(KXMB TV reports that one of the wounded officials, Medina Police Officer Steve Schnabel, is alive and resides in Fargo.)

Former Medina Chief Darrell Graf says Kahl was a decorated World War II vet and a troubled man:

“Gordon had what I believe is comparable to PTSD. It was called shell shock back then. I think that’s what really got the ball rolling,” said the retired chief.

Chief Graf says before the shooting, Gordon Kahl was known as a decent man, a Good Samaritan willing to stop and help fix a flat tire or give directions to a lost traveler.

Still, Gordon Kahl had a dark side: an anti-government ultra-conservative who refused to pay taxes, he ran afoul of the law. The Medina shooting involved attempts to arrest him for parole violation.

Gordon Kahl became a fugitive, eventually fleeing to Arkansas, where he died in a shootout with police.

[Source: KXMB TV]

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