SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There aren’t too many people on Minnesota Avenue at 2:45 in the morning, but a Sioux Falls man and some friends were driving by at the moment the gunfire started.
Raheem Rice is a night owl. He was riding with friends on a nice night with the windows open, when they were about to go by Gilberto’s Mexican restaurant which is open 24 hours a day. At first, Rice thought he heard fireworks, then realized it was gunfire.
“It wasn’t just somebody shooting a gun, it was a gunfight which is a lot to process in that amount of time, but also with that I can’t really say I saw, but I assume that I saw a man get hit, and with the impact of that and him going to the ground, and I hope he’s ok,” said Rice.
Rice told the driver to hit the gas to get them out of harm’s way. At that point what they had seen was starting to sink in. So Rice says he offered to drive.
“So we pull over at the intersection right by the YMCA 11th and Minnesota, we get out to just change, they’re hysterical from the adrenaline dump. I see an officer on the corner there, I’m literally almost on the hood of my car waving him down and I’m like hey, go to Gilberto’s, they are like what? and I’m like go to Gilberto’s shooting, shooting, shooting,” said Rice.
Rice says the response by the police was impressive. He believes he heard at least two shooters maybe more.
“After the first, it sounded like pop pop, and then a different sounding weapon response, then the burst immediately exchanged was like insane,” said Rice.
The reality of being so close to flying bullets and the sheer number of rounds being fired isn’t something anyone expects in Sioux Falls.
“Just imagine what if I had gotten hit and then to watch me hurt, or they had been hit and I was unable to help them, trying to convey, so people are going to talk about crime in Sioux Falls, this is still a wonderful place to live we’re growing still an amazing place to live,” said Rice.
Rice says he would like to bring a late-night alternative to the bar scene where people can safely gather.