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Redby man sentenced for gun, threat charges

BEMIDJI -- For pulling a pistol from his waistband as a Bemidji police officer approached in early July, a Redby man is headed to prison for five years.

Bruce Lee Armstrong, 22, was sentenced Tuesday by Beltrami District Judge Shari Schlucter for being a felon in possession of a pistol and terroristic threats. Armstrong, who has credit for 38 days time served, will serve his sentence at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility. Additionally, Armstrong was sentenced to one year in jail, with credit for 162 days served, for a July 2012 domestic assault case.

Police were called to Ridgeway Apartments just after 1 a.m. July 3 on reports of a fight and possible shots fired. Armstrong was identified by police as one of two suspects, according to a complaint filed by the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office.

He was eventually spotted by police, and as an officer approached, Armstong pulled a gun from his waistband. The officer took control of the weapon and handcuffed Armstrong, who became combative, kicking the windows of a Bemidji police car.

Police found four shell casings at the scene, which were collected and sent with the gun for ballistic tests to see if they were fired from the .22 caliber handgun Armstrong wielded. Whether he fired any shots that morning is still being investigated, according to the complaint, but a witness at the apartment complex said Armstrong fired a weapon out the window of a vehicle while en route to Bemidji from Cass Lake.

Along with the the 2012 domestic assault conviction, Armstrong has a criminal history that includes a 2011 fifth-degree drug possession charge. He served one year and one day at a Minnesota Department of Corrections facility for that crime, according to court documents.


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