Sioux Falls Police say they had no choice when 22-year-old Jacob Westberg stepped out of his mobile home Monday night and pointed a gun at officers.
A SWAT officer responded to Westberg’s actions with gunfire and killed the 22-year-old man.
As in all officer-involved shootings, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation is now looking into the case to determine whether the officer was justified in the shooting.
"As far as I remember hearing, it was two gunshots. That's we heard," neighbor Jon Lesly said.
Lesly lives right next door to the home where the shooting happened. He said he heard Sioux Falls Police negotiators talking to Westberg, who had been threatening to commit suicide.
"In some way, they were trying to calm the situation more than anything and the guy just wasn't having it," Lesly said.
Police were called to the west Sioux Falls home around 5 p.m. Monday to help the suicidal 22-year-old man. On their way to the scene, they received a report of a gunshot inside the home. Gunshots were also heard after police arrived and the SWAT team was called in. At about 7 p.m., police say Westberg came out of the house and pointed his gun at the officers.
"We heard the shots inside already so obviously the person is firing the gun, but in a situation like that, the officer is faced with deadly force and he reacted,” Sioux Falls Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said. "We're shooting to stop the threat.”
By stopping, the threat police also ended a life, which was not the outcome officers wanted.
"The ultimate goal is to end it with everybody being safe and it's unfortunate in this instance that the guy came out with a gun and pointed at officers," Clemens said.
The Division of Criminal Investigation will complete its report on the shooting in the next 30 days.