Sitting calmly in a wheelchair, Elijah White Magpie had a brief, whispered conversation with his attorney before being arraigned Monday on charges including attempted first-degree murder and misdemeanor vandalism.

Other than the wheelchair, a white bandage on White Magpie's upper right arm was the only visible reminder of a confrontation on a dark street with Rapid City police officers that ended with the 20-year-old being shot on Feb. 21.

White Magpie is accused of threatening police officers shortly after he showed off a large kitchen knife in the Rapid City Public Library. After the staff forced him to leave, he reportedly responded by throwing a rock through a front window at the library.

As he walked down Quincy Street, White Magpie allegedly shattered a window in a parked van before police officers stopped him in the street.

Senior Officer Jerry Moore shot White Magpie when he advanced on Moore and officer Marc Black with the knife, police said.

After hearing the charges recited, White Magpie pleaded not guilty to attempted-first degree murder, two charges of aggravated assault on a public officer, and misdemeanor charges of intentional damage to public property and intentional damage to private property Monday.

White Magpie's threatening behavior directed at Black resulted in the attempted murder charge and the alternative charge of aggravated assault, according to the indictment.

If convicted of the two felony charges, White Magpie could be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison. White Magpie is due back in court on April 8.

Meanwhile, the Rapid City Public Library's Board of Trustees voted last week to continue its contract with a local security firm for another 60 days. Black Hills Patrol was hired to provide security at the library the day after White Magpie was shot.

Contact Andrea J. Cook at 394-8423 or

(2) comments


I am thankful for the Police Department and the new Security at the Library. Both Departments are doing an excellent Job!


Yep its crazy. You advance on an armed person threatening them. What do you think will happen?

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