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Murder suspect arrested after standoff in Rapid City
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Murder suspect arrested after standoff in Rapid City

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After four days on the run, the suspect in a fatal shooting in Pine Ridge was arrested Friday evening in a Rapid City neighborhood after a brief standoff with law enforcement.

Colton Bagola, 26, walked out of a house on the 300 block of Curtis Street at 5:50 p.m. with his hands up in the air and then knelt on the ground before being surrounded and handcuffed by law enforcement. He was arrested on a federal warrant for the second-degree murder of Sloan Bull Bear, according to Robert Ecoffey, chief of the Oglala Sioux police.

"Officers from our department working with the FBI were able to track down witnesses who identified" Bagola as the suspect, Ecoffey said. He said he couldn't share more details about the shooting, how Bagola made his way to Rapid City, and or how the suspect was found by law enforcement. 

The FBI contacted the Rapid City Police Department on Friday afternoon to ask for help arresting Bagola, Assistant Chief Don Hedrick said near the scene. Police and the Pennington County Sheriff's Office brought the Special Response Team due to the nature of the crime, he said. 

The state Highway Patrol and FBI were also at the scene, which was barricaded off at the intersection with Haines Avenue, sandwiched between Black Hills Urgent Care and a Maverik gas station.

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A military-style vehicle aimed a bright light at a gray home and Bagola eventually walked outside wearing a white tank top, jeans, black sunglasses and a baseball cap turned backwards. After being handcuffed, he was brought to a police car where he was secured with ankle cuffs and held for a few minutes before FBI agents took him away in a black truck as other agents searched the home. 

The SRT called Bagola numerous times before he finally answered the phone, said Brendyn Medina, spokesman for the police department. "After a quick conversation and telling him what the situation was, he came out."

Bagola was the only person inside the house, Hedrick said, and the neighboring home was vacant so there were no evacuations of the neighborhood, Medina said. 

Misty Corbine, who previously dated Bull Bear, arrived at the nearby gas station with their son after Bagola's arrest. She said Bull Bear was 30 years old and had been living in Minnesota, but recently returned to the area. Corbine said she doesn't know any details about the shooting that occurred early Tuesday morning. 

The 31-year-old from Rapid City said she spoke with Bull Bear for several hours the night before he was killed and had made plans to have their son drive him around.

"My son just learned to drive and he was supposed to drive his dad when he got back, but he's not coming back," Corbine said. 

"I'm hurt because my son will never get to bond with his dad ever, he'll never get to drive him," she said. "He won't even get to see his dad, get to talk to his dad, anything." 

— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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