A Pine Ridge man has been charged in a shooting on the reservation that left two people critically injured last month.
Lester Waters Jr. is facing a charge of assault resulting in serious bodily injury, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Authorities say the shooting occurred at a house party, and he later appeared high on meth.
Waters hasn’t entered a plea, and will appear at the Rapid City federal courthouse for a preliminary hearing today.
According to an FBI statement filed in court, the shooting happened in the early morning of Jan. 25 at a house outside Pine Ridge Village. Waters attended the party supposedly armed with a 9 mm pistol.
A witness told police the party was underway when she heard gunshots. She saw Waters standing with an arm raised above his head, firing a black handgun.
The bullets reportedly hit two men.
Elgie Iron Bear suffered a spinal injury, which resulted in paralysis. He was being treated in Colorado “and his life may still be in peril due to the injuries Waters inflicted,” FBI Special Agent Matt Weber stated in the document dated Jan. 29.
Another victim, Charles Janis, was injured in the face, which required jaw surgery. Janis' jaw was wired shut and he was being medically sedated.
After Waters was arrested, he supposedly admitted firing at the men. “Waters also stated that he was trying to scare people because he felt people were going after him,” the document reads.
Weber wrote that it was obvious “when watching Waters’ behavior post-arrest that he had previously consumed methamphetamine.”
Two women reportedly told investigators that Waters had offered them meth in exchange for cleaning the house.
Waters is detained at the Pennington Count Jail. His trial has been tentatively scheduled for April 10.
Passengers departing Rapid City Regional Airport should prepare for stronger carry-on baggage security screening procedures, which started Tuesday.
The Transportation Security Administration now requires travelers to place all electronic devices larger than a cellphone in bins for X-ray screening when going through the security checkpoint. The electronics should be placed in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for several years.
Travelers should continue to remove their one-quart bag containing liquids, gels and aerosols in quantities of less than 100 ml from their carry-on bag.
However, the new procedures now require the bag to be placed in a bin by itself for X-ray screening. By removing these specific items from the carry-on, TSA officers are able to obtain a clearer view of them on the X-ray screen, according to a news release.
In the Page A1 story "New home for ag research," published Tuesday, Feb. 13, the story should have clarified the purchase price of the land bought by South Dakota State University near Sturgis. The land itself was purchased for $502,461, with the remaining $400,000 for a facility to be built, including a shop for equipment storage and maintenance, as well as office space and a small classroom.