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September 09, 2011 07:00 AM

Custer Shooting Personal For Sheriff's Department

custer, sd


It was a night in a small western South Dakota town that law enforcement hopes never to repeat. And now new details are emerging about the former Marine killed in a shoot out with Custer police.

It began early Tuesday morning when authorities received a call about a man with gun in Downtown Custer.

Former Marine, 22-year-old Cody Engen, had recently returned from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Officials say he left a path of destruction in Custer and ultimately died from Highway Patrol gunfire.

While an incident like this is never easy for law enforcement, the fact that the gunman was the son of Custer County Sheriff's Deputy, Dan Engen, makes this a little more difficult to swallow.

"My heart just dropped, you know? Like I said, it throws a whole new twist into this incident, you know. And I don't mean to make it sound like we'd do anything different, but when you start getting people involved and your fellow officer's children involved, what do you do?" Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler said.

"We're all out there and we've tried everything that we can possibly think of to fix this incident but it just wasn't working. And some of these guys were put in a position that hopefully they'll never be put in again. It's real tough, it's real tough," Wheeler said.

Cody Engen will be laid to rest early next week at the Black Hills National Cemetery.
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