The 1982 Brownburg, Dakota shootings (locally referred to as simply the '82 incident or the Three Hours of Terror) were a series of attacks perpetrated by anti-government militia against the Dakota town of Brownburg, the seat of Washabaugh County, in February 1982. In the early morning of February 13, beginning around 7:45 AM Central Standard Time, a group of nine militiamen armed with automatic assault weapons stormed a branch of the Dakota State Bank and took eight hostages, one of whom was an undercover police detective. After only an hour, the seemingly impatient militiamen executed all eight of the hostages in cold blood, including the police detective, and fled the bank through a neighboring building, killing two Dakota State Troopers upon exiting. An hour later, the militia stormed a local daycare center (because it had received funds from the government), brutally gunned down three teachers, and vandalized the building before fleeing yet again. Finally, not ten minutes later, they entered a local construction site where a medical clinic was being built and shot five construction workers before forcing the rest off the property. Within five minutes, Brownburg PD, Dakota State Troopers, and FBI SWAT were on scene, surrounding the site and demanding the immediate surrender of the militia group. They blatantly refused to do so. Having anticipated such a response, the FBI called in a pair of UH-1 Huey gunships, which arrived none too soon as the militia engaged with and killed four more State Troopers, as well as wounding another dozen Brownburg PD and FBI. At 10:49 AM five of the militia surrendered, finally realizing they were outgunned. The remaining four engaged the Hueys with disastrous results: two of them died outright, while the other two were wounded, and decided to surrender after several minutes of near-constant cannon fire from the helicopters.
All told when it was over, seventeen civilians and six State Troopers were dead, with another twenty-five injured to varying degrees. The shootings were condemned by the national government, the American populace, and much of the international community alike as an unnecessary and cowardly act of terror. President Ronald Reagan visited Brownburg on February 15 to pay respects to the victims and their families, and in a brief speech at memorial services called it a "...brutal and barbaric attack on innocent American citizens...". The attacks inaugurated a new era of domestic terrorism, with countless militia groups both large and small cropping up in cities and towns around the United States over the next fifteen years, right up through the present day.