PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper was justified in shooting a man at an October 11, 2023 incident in Dell Rapids, according to South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.
The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) review indicates the trooper was justified in shooting a man who charged at the trooper. “The suspect was suicidal and presented a clear and present danger by charging at the trooper,” said Attorney General Jackley. “The trooper fired his weapon only after the suspect disobeyed the trooper’s verbal orders.”
The incident began when 24-year-old Rotislav Bershad was driving his Ford Fusion at a high rate of speed on I-229 in Minnehaha County. The trooper attempted to make a traffic enforcement stop but Bershad refused to stop and the trooper began a vehicle pursuit.
Bershad continued north on I-229 and later on county roads. Officers placed tire deflating strips in Dell Rapids which brought the vehicle to a halt.
Bershad then left the vehicle and ran directly at the trooper’s vehicle. The trooper voiced commands to stop but Bershad refused. The trooper fired two shots, striking the suspect once in the midsection.
Bershad is an Israeli citizen living in the United States. He had a pocketknife in his possession and the Ford Fusion had been stolen from Sioux Falls.
Medical care was provided to Bershad and he was transported by ambulance to a Sioux Falls hospital with serious injuries.
Bershad’s blood alcohol level was .087, and no other drugs were detected. The trooper tested negative for alcohol and drugs.
DCI made the ruling based on reviewing the crime scene, collecting and analyzing evidence, reviewing forensic examinations, interviewing the trooper and suspect, gathering witness statements and viewing all available video.