RAPID CITY, SD -
The South Dakota Attorney General says Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Bock was justified in shooting and injuring 27-year-old William Chandler following a pursuit that reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour between Sturgis and Rapid City.
The finding is part of a report that was released Wednesday morning.
The pursuit took place on September 30 when Bock spotted Chandler’s vehicle driving 80 miles per hour through Boulder Canyon. When Bock tried to pull Chandler’s vehicle over, Chandler sped away and led authorities on a pursuit down Interstate 90.
When officers tried to deploy spike strips, Chandler and his passenger, Joseph Andrews, drove around the strips and into the median and then started driving the wrong way down the westbound lanes of I-90. Another Highway Patrol vehicle was able to stop the car by intentionally crashing into it.
Officers were able to take Chandler and Andrews into custody after a short pursuit on foot in the Butler Machinery parking lot in Rapid City. However, when Chandler was in handcuffs in the back of a patrol car he escaped from the restraints and jumped in the driver seat.
Bock and Trooper Chris Regan ran after the car in the parking lot telling Chandler to stop. Chandler put the car in reverse and started backing up toward the troopers. That’s when Bock fired once in the back window of the patrol car and hit Chandler on the right side of the face and neck.
“Trooper Bock stated that he was in fear for his life, as well as Trooper Regan’s because he believed that Chandler was going to run over one or both of them,” the report said.
Toxicology tests showed that Chandler had marijuana and meth in his system at the time of the pursuit. His blood alcohol level was a 0.036, below the legal limit. Chandler faces several criminal charges for the incident.
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