City leaders call for unity, support after convenience store murder

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Court documents indicate 45-year-old Kasie Lord, who was working the overnight shift at Loaf n Jug Wednesday, tried to stop 19-year-old Cody Grady and 17-year-old Carlos Quevedo from stealing beer.

She blocked the door, refusing to let them leave, which led to the struggle, and ultimately, her death. Just 18 days into the new year, it's the second homicide in Rapid City, already tying last year's total.

"I think it's fair over time. We have more people. We have more crime. But I also think we have more community dysfunction because of drugs and alcohol, so that plays a major part,” Mayor Steve Allender said. “And as we've been saying and warning for some time, methamphetamine is going to steal resources from the community. And this is one way it does it."

It's a crime that has affected not only the community, but also those who serve and protect it. Police Chief Karl Jegeris tweeted Friday, "It's been a tough week, but these officers will continue to stand watch night after night," giving credit to the first officers to respond Wednesday morning.

And a vigil Thursday night, attended by mourners and police officers, showcased the community's support to the Lord family and not let this tragedy tear apart the town.

"I was hoping to have 5 or 10 of us gather, and as you can see, there's close to 60 or 70 of us,” said Richie Richards, organizer of the vigil. “When tragedy strikes this, you know, Rapid City's growing but we're still a small town. We still know the people that we come in contact with on a daily basis."

Mayor Allender said it’s time for the community to join together to overcome the tragedy.

"When something like this happens in the community, it's not time to withdraw. It's not time to lock up more doors and stay in more days and segregate yourself from the community,” he said. “It's time to reinvest, to be out and celebrate yourself and other people.”

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