SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) –2022 was a record year for officer-involved shootings in South Dakota. And this year is off to a bad start. Tuesday morning, Rapid City police were called to a home to enforce a no-contact order. The Police Chief says they encountered two men, one with a gun.
“The officer fired at the suspect after telling him to drop the gun, and at the time, the individual dropped the gun and fell to the ground,” said Chief Hedrick.
One of the two men involved has died the other is seriously injured. This is the third officer involved shooting of the year in South Dakota. Attorney General Marty Jackley says other states are also experiencing more officer involved shootings than normal. And he believes he knows why.
“I attribute that often times to addiction, the use of some of the controlled substances, methamphetamine, fentanyl causes people to do out of the ordinary actions and we see that impact everywhere including with officer involved shootings here in South Dakota,” said Jackley.
In his earlier 10 year run as Attorney General, Jackley says the state averaged three officer involved shootings a year. Last year we had a dozen.
Officer involved shootings are usually investigated by the State Division of Criminal Investigation, which is part of the Attorney General’s office.
“Typically we are requested come in and we are very careful to partner with other local agencies so there is more than one set of eyes, so that we have a level of diversity looking at these shootings,” said Jackley.
In the last legislative session Jackley asked for and got tougher penalties for criminals who attempt to kill law enforcement officers He also believes continued uniform training with simulators, proper equipment for officers and dealing with addiction are the keys to lowering the number of officer involved shootings in South Dakota.