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The South Dakota Attorney General's Office is investigating a fatal shooting in Box Elder Wednesday, the state’s first shooting this year involving an on-duty law enforcement officer.

The shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. in a mobile home at 240 North Ellsworth Road, after Box Elder police responded to a call for service, the Attorney General's Office said in a release.

"The situation escalated resulting in an officer firing his duty weapon" at a 44-year-old man, who died at the scene, according to the release. Authorities are withholding the man's name until his family has been notified.

On Wednesday morning, yellow caution tape encircled the mobile home as personnel from the Box Elder Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff's Office and state Division of Criminal Investigation moved about.

Box Elder Police Chief Jason Dubbs said the call for service came in to 911 dispatch as a disturbance report, and three officers responded. Dubbs said he was not aware of prior issues at the residence.

Box Elder police have not been involved in a shooting in "at least 20 years, and maybe never," Dubbs said.

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The Division of Criminal Investigation, tasked with investigating officer-involved shootings, is expected to release its findings within 30 days. It will include whether Attorney General Marty Jackley, whose office oversees the Division, has found the police officer's use of deadly force as justified.

Dubbs declined to reveal the officer’s name, but said he has been placed on administrative paid leave as part of investigation protocol. The Pennington and Meade county sheriff's offices are assisting in the investigation.

The incident is the first shooting in the state this year involving a law enforcement officer, said Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Sara Rabern.

Since the office began investigating such shootings in 2001, there have been 44 officer-involved shootings in South Dakota, according to its database. All the shootings have been ruled as justified. The incidents resulted in 26 deaths, including those of two Rapid City police officers who were fatally wounded in a 2011 shootout.

Journal staffer Chris Huber contributed to this report. Contact Tiffany Tan at

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Rapid City Journal