One man is dead after charging a Rapid City Police officer while armed with a large knife early Friday morning.
At a Friday morning news conference, Rapid City Police Chief Don Hedrick said an officer responded to a disturbance call at 330 Philadelphia Street around 5:30 a.m. Upon entering the building, the suspect, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin, allegedly charged at the officer while holding a large, butcher-type knife.
Hedrick called the struggle “active combat.”
“Within seconds, the man was in very close proximity to the officer, to the point where the officer wasn’t sure if he’d been stabbed or not,” he said.
After being charged, Hedrick said the officer fired his weapon at the suspect, who then collapsed. The officer then began life-saving procedures. The man later died at the hospital.
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“This was a very dynamic situation in terms of [how] it unfolded very quickly,” Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said. “We’ve had the opportunity to watch the body camera footage, and it’s frankly kind of chilling.”
Hedrick said that every indication was that the man was attempting to hurt the responding officer. The unnamed officer was not injured in the incident.
“Witnesses after the fact had advised that they saw the man prior to law enforcement’s arrival stabbing himself with that knife,” Hedrick said.
As is standard procedure with all police shootings, South Dakota’s Division of Criminal Investigation will take the lead in investigating the officer’s use of force in the incident, with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office assisting.
The State’s Attorney General’s Office will review the findings before releasing a report to the public.
Contact Darsha Dodge at email@example.com