Barry Wedge, of Cabool, Mo. was a person of interest in a potential homicide investigation in North Dakota.
By Sue Curry Jones
Around midnight on Friday, May 3, a suspect traveling out of Cabool on Hwy. 181 proceeded to fire on Cabool police officers without provocation. The shooting incident and chase began from an attempted traffic stop originated by the Cabool officers.
According to Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase, the chase continued down Highway 76 into Douglas County with several law enforcement agencies joining the pursuit. Degase said fog was a factor, which may have helped keep chase speeds around 50 mph.
As officers continued in the pursuit, making efforts to detain Barry Wedge, age 42, of Cabool, Mo., Wedge would randomly stop and shoot at officers.
Spike strips were deployed at the intersection of Hwys. 95 and 76, but the suspect turned into a field prior to reaching the intersection.
Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Nathan Long continued to follow Wedge’s vehicle across the field in close proximity, taking shotgun hits from the suspect who continued to circle the area.
Officers converged on the scene, and after unsuccessful attempts to establish contact with Wedge, his body was found dead outside the vehicle.
An autopsy performed Saturday, May 4, shows Wedge died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, from a 12-gauge shot gun. No other gunshot wounds to the body were reported.
According to the Cabool police body cams, it appears Wedge fired 30 rounds at officers.
Agencies involved in the pursuit included Missouri State Highway Patrol, Wright County, Douglas County, and Texas County Sheriff’s departments, and Mountain Grove Police Department.
It is believed Wedge had been in Cabool approximately three weeks, and had family in Douglas, Wright and Texas counties.
Prior to the incident last Friday, Wedge was being questioned as a person of interest in a potential homicide investigation into the February shooting death of William Galusha, age 34, of Milnor, North Dakota. Galusha was found shot to death in the rental home he shared with Wedge, the two men were roommates.
Some Milnor residents were led to believe Galusha committed suicide; however, the truck Wedge was driving while fleeing officers in Douglas County is alleged to belong to his deceased roommate.
According to information provided by Matt Henson with WDAY News, in Fargo, North Dakota, on May 6, the [North Dakota] Ransom County State’s Attorney, Fallon Kelly, provided the following press release in regard to the death of William Galusha, and person of interest, Barry Wedge. The press release references Wedge’s death in Douglas County:
During an extensive ongoing investigation into the shooting related death of William Galusha, the primary person of interest, Barry Wedge, has died. Prior to Barry Wedge’s death, there was insufficient evidence upon which to base criminal charges related to the suspected homicide. …. That investigation remains indefinitely active due to the reasons that forbade criminal charges from being pursued prior to Mr. Galusha’s death. The autopsy report stating “that the manner of death is best classified as homicide for public health purposes” was received May 6, 2019….”
The Ransom County State Attorney said the investigation is ongoing, consequently additional details about the potential homicide that took place in Ransom County North Dakota are limited.
The Douglas County incident is still under investigation.