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Authorities release identity of Rapid City man shot by deputy

Authorities have released the identity of a man who was shot and killed by a deputy last week after reportedly firing at deputies during a pursuit.

Matthew John Lorenzen, 19, of Rapid City, died at the scene a little after 12:15 p.m. Friday after he was shot by a Pennington County sheriff's deputy, according to a news release from the South Dakota Attorney General's Office.

The name of the deputy who shot Lorenzen has not been released. Helene Duhamel, spokeswoman for the Pennington County Sheriff's Office, said that when Lorenzen reportedly shot at authorities, the deputy became a victim under the terms of Marsy's Law, a package of victims' rights laws adopted by voters in 2016. The deputy may therefore choose to have his name withheld from the public, she said.

"We’ll let you know when and if he wants that info released," Duhamel said of the deputy. She added that the deputy's choice should be known in a day or two.

Per the policy of the Sheriff's Office, Duhamel said, the deputy has been placed on administrative leave.

Attorney General Marty Jackley confirmed Monday morning that the state Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting at the request of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to authorities, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office tried to initiate a traffic stop near South Highway 79 and Old Folsom Road in Rapid City, which resulted in a vehicle pursuit through parts of Rapid City and Box Elder. Lorenzen reportedly fired at deputies during the pursuit. 

The chase ended when the suspect's vehicle rolled into a ditch on the west side of 161st Avenue, just south of the eastbound Exit 78 of Interstate 90 near New Underwood. After the vehicle rolled and landed upside down, Lorenzen allegedly exited the vehicle with a weapon and was shot by the deputy.

DCI will issue a case report and shooting summation to be reviewed by the attorney general for a final determination on the officer’s action. That's expected within 30 days, according to the news release. 

Lorenzen's criminal record in South Dakota shows no prior violent crimes, but he was arrested for drug-related crimes twice during the final few months of 2017. Although the Attorney General's Office said Monday that Lorenzen was from Rapid City, his past criminal cases listed an address in Box Elder.

One of those cases was opened in September 2017 when Lorenzen was pulled over in Lawrence County for driving a vehicle without license plates. Evidence found during the traffic stop resulted in charges of driving under the influence, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

In March, Lorenzen accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to DUI and possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana. He was sentenced to 20 days in jail with credit for eight days already served.

While that case was pending, Lorenzen was pulled over by a Pennington County sheriff's deputy in December 2017 for speeding. Evidence turned up during that traffic stop resulted in charges of DUI and marijuana possession. The case was still pending at the time of Lorenzen's death. He was free on a bail bond and was scheduled for a court hearing next Monday after hearings in October and August had been continued.


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A tale of triumph, tragedy, perseverance
Dick Beardsley's tale of triumph, tragedy and perseverance

Dick Beardsley, who in 1982 thrilled the nation with the closest finish in the history of the Boston Marathon, laughed after watching footage on a projector of his famous race.

"I'm worn out," Beardsley said Monday morning at the Joy Center at Black Hills State University. "I've seen that video literally thousands of times, and I still think maybe this time I'll beat him."

Beardsley spoke as part of Regional Health's Make Your Comeback Speaker Series and will speak again at 10 a.m. today at the Hall of Fame Room in the King Center at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. It is open to the public.

The race remembered Monday was just one of many challenges life would throw at Beardsley.

"As I was finishing that race, I told myself, 'I'll never face anything so difficult as this again.' But I was so wrong," he told the audience.

Beardsley, a Minnesota native, returned home to a dairy farm around Bemidji after retiring from his running career to, as he saw it, milk cows, fish and be with his family. But, instead, he encountered three successive freak accidents.

The power take-off on a tractor mangled his left leg. Sod broke away on a hike while on a hike with his son, leaving him on the shores of Lake Bemidji in need of paramedics. And a truck struck him while running in Fargo, leaving him in a snowbank.

The painful accidents and subsequent surgeries left Beardsley addicted to painkillers, sometimes, he said, taking as many as 90 pills a day to ease his symptoms — giving him a taste in the early 1990s of the opioid epidemic now gripping the nation.

"I was the same as someone in an alleyway shooting up on heroin," said Beardsley, an energetic speaker. "I was a narcotics addict."

He received treatment from a hospital in Fargo but then became addicted to methadone and, after a late-night bus ride to Minneapolis, spent an agonizing week without sleep in a hospital bed and attending therapy sessions, sometimes crawling his way down the hallway. It was on his third try that he succeeded.

"A doctor told me, 'This will be the hardest thing you ever do. It will be hell.' And he was right," Beardsley said to the packed room of nearly 100 people.

Now sober for 22 years, Beardsley spoke somberly, however, of his most recent challenge: the suicide of his son, a victim of PTSD.

A Blackhawk gunner in Iraq, Andy took his own life only hours after talking to his father.

"I didn't have a clue," said Beardsley, who wrote a song on a few days after his son's passing that he ended his talk with. 

"After all that happened, this song — believe it or not — brings me joy and gives me hope," he said.

Beardsley is a professional motivational speaker who talks of a never-say-quit attitude and humble roots (he wore knee-high nylon socks, tennis shoes, and a belt to hoist up his father's baggy shorts to his first cross-country practice). He also impressed upon his audience — even the young students from Belle Fourche High School in their purple shirts in the front row — to never forget their own hard work.

"When I stood on the starting line at the Boston Marathon two runners down from Alberto Salazar (then the world record holder) and Bill Rodgers (four-time winner at the Boston Marathon), I wondered, 'Dick, what in the heck are you doing on the same line with these guys?'"

But a voice came to him that he'll never forget.

"Dick, you deserve to be here, you've done the work."

A little over two hours later — and fewer than two seconds behind Salazar — Beardsley would have not only the course and American record but a sense of determination that could carry him through a storied life. 

The Front Porch Coalition is a Black Hills-based organization dedicated to assisting individuals who've lost a loved one due to suicide and can be reached at 348-6692.


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Lawmakers vote to have Legislature consider two mental health bills

PIERRE | Facing what they call a “public-health crisis,” South Dakota lawmakers on Monday took steps to make mental-health care more accessible throughout the state.

The Legislature’s Access to Mental Health Services Committee voted unanimously to recommend two mental-health accessibility bills to the Legislature come the start of the session in January.

The first bill would expand funding for the state’s 211 mental-health hotline, which helps to connect callers to mental-health resources.

South Dakota now has a 211 line in place, however, it only serves 17 of the state’s 66 counties. Pennington County is among the counties with the service.

Sen. Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls, who chairs the interim committee, said expanding 211 service is “an important step” to curb suicide rates in the state and could provide avenues to help those suffering from domestic abuse or child maltreatment in all of South Dakota.

According to South Dakota Suicide Prevention, suicide was the ninth-leading cause of death in the state in 2017 and the second-leading cause of death for youth and young adults. Nationally, deaths by suicide have increased approximately 25 percent between 1999 and 2016. In South Dakota, suicides increased in the same time frame by over 44 percent, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The current 211 system costs approximately $500,000 annually. To increase its reach to all of the state is expected to take another $300,000.

Committee members also voted unanimously to recommend a bill to the Legislature that would establish five task forces to study mental-health care through 2019. Implementation of the task forces is estimated to cost approximately $95,000.

The task forces would study options to localize mental-health treatment across the state and develop day-treatment options, use telemedicine for mental-health treatment and counseling, redefine nursing-home bed capacities for patients with illnesses like Alzheimer's and dementia, and increase capacity for transitional housing.

Committee members also discussed a bill that would revise provisions for emergency involuntary commitments but decided against voting to recommend the bill to the Legislature. Members said they felt it was rushed and that they wanted more time to make adjustments.


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SD National Guard to deactivate, relocate, add units with broader structural changes

Rapid City will be getting roughly 160 more soldiers because of a realignment by the South Dakota Army National Guard. 

The Guard is planning a structural change that will deactivate three units, activate three new units — including two in Rapid City — and relocate another six units across the state. 

The Guard expects to increase its overall force from 3,012 to 3,097, adding 85 soldier positions with the structural realignment. 

A press release sent Monday said the changes will begin next year and optimize the Guard's "organizational readiness and capabilities to respond to state and federal missions."

The Guard plans to deactivate the 139th Brigade Support Battalion based in Brookings, Company A, 139th BSB in Watertown and Company B, 139th BSB in Mitchell.

Major Anthony Deiss, director of public affairs for the South Dakota National Guard, said in a phone interview Monday every soldier from a unit that closes will still have a job. He said the state will hold a job fair of sorts to help soldiers in the closing units find jobs with other units or reclassify them to perform different tasks that match their skill set. 

The 109th Engineer Battalion and a Forward Support Company to be based in Rapid City and the 665th Surface Maintenance Company in Mitchell will be the new units activated as part of the structural changes. 

Deiss said positions for new units will be made up first of soldiers from other units, but there will be some opportunity to add new people. 

"We will plan for and implement these changes to ensure we maintain a high state of readiness with the right mix of capabilities across the state," said Major General Tim Reisch, adjutant general of the SDNG, in the release. 

The majority of the changes are expected to be completed by September 2020.

Scheduled unit relocations will take place for the following units: 152nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Pierre to Brookings; 115th Signal Company from Brookings to Sioux Falls; 155th Engineer Company from Rapid City to Wagner; Detachment 1, 155th Engineer Company from Wagner to Parkston; Detachment 1, 153rd Forward Support Company from Parkston to Huron; Detachment 1, 211th Engineer Company from De Smet to Madison.

With the unit changes, the Guard also plans to the close the armory in De Smet.

"It is with genuine sadness that we will be relocating from De Smet — a community that has supported the National Guard in a truly outstanding manner for decades," Reisch said. "We will continue to maintain our ties to De Smet through recruiting and support of community events, and there will be no change in our ability to respond to their needs should an emergency occur."


SEE PHOTOS: SD National Guard aircraft maintenance

PHOTOS: SD National Guard aircraft maintenance