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Custer Shooting: Lethal Force Justified

September 23, 2011, 11:36 AM

Custer Shooting: Lethal Force Justified
CUSTER, SD - An investigation has determined the South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper who shot and killed gunman Cody Engen in Custer September 6 was justified in using lethal force.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and the Division of Criminal Investigation just released a summary of the shooting and decision on the trooper's response.

According to the summary, around 1:56 a.m., Engen called 911 numerous times saying he was drunk, had a .45 gun and wanted to kill a law enforcement officer. He had a blood alcohol content of .177 and did not have any drugs in his system.

After speeding through Custer and driving his truck into the Sheriff's Office, he barricaded himself inside the building. He had walked out of the back door when Trooper Albertson saw Engen walking his way with a handgun and ordered him to drop the weapon. When Engen refused, Albertson fired 14 times and hit Engen three times, killing him on the scene.

Officials interviewed 27 people during the investigation which also found Engen had shot at or pointed his gun at innocent bystanders several times throughout the incident.

The report also says Engen had a military background and had been honorably discharged from the military May 20, 2011. A doctor had diagnosed him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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