DCI releases Rapid City police officer involved shooting summary
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation Director David Natvig released the summary into the shooting of a 15-year old juvenile, identified as D.M., of Rapid City, SD, which occurred in the early morning hours of December 25, 2020, in Rapid City.
The DCI, assisted by the Rapid City Police Department, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol conducted the investigation at the request of the Rapid City Police Department.
Shortly before 4:00 a.m. on December 25, 2020, an officer of the Rapid City Police Department made a routine traffic stop. Responding officers encountered D.M. exiting the vehicle with a 12-gauge shotgun which he subsequently pointed at the officer. The situation escalated and the responding officer fired his duty weapon at the subject, striking him and incapacitating him.
According to authorities in Rapid City charges against D.M. are pending through the office of the Pennington County State’s Attorney.
The investigation and summary have been reviewed by Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Daniel K. Haggar.
“I have reviewed the materials provided to me from the DCI investigation into the Rapid City Police Department shooting that took place on December 25, 2020,” said Haggar. “After considering the facts and circumstances of the incident it is my conclusion that the officer involved acted in an objectively reasonable manner and that the shooting was justified.”
“I would like to thank the Rapid City Police Department for their service and complete cooperation in this investigation,” said Natvig. “The professionalism of the RCPD, working alongside our DCI agents made this a very smooth investigation.”
RCPD Chief Don Hedrick made the following statement about this incident:
“Any instance in which an officer is required to use lethal force is a tragedy for our community as a whole. This is yet another example of violent crime involving a deadly weapon and illegal drugs. I am extremely thankful our officer wasn’t hurt or killed after being challenged by an armed subject. It was shocking to learn the suspect had racked ammunition into the shotgun just prior to exiting the vehicle. Adding further concern, we also learned the safety of the weapon was not engaged at the time the suspect exited the car. I am extremely grateful for the men and women who choose to work in a career serving their community, even when these life-threatening encounters are a real possibility. We are thankful the suspect did not lose his life after this potentially-deadly encounter, and implore the community to come together to work to find help for friends and loved ones who are battling substance use.”