Authorities arrested two people Wednesday following the fatal stabbing of a Rapid City convenience store clerk that morning.
Cody Grady, 19, of Rapid City, was charged with second-degree robbery and murder in the death of Kasie Lord, Rapid City police said in a release.
Also arrested was a 17-year-old male whom police did not identify. A decision on his charges will be made by the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office this morning, the release said.
Lord, a 45-year-old Rapid City woman, was a clerk at the Loaf 'N Jug convenience store and gas station at 1627 Mount Rushmore Road.
The suspects were trying to steal beer from the store when the stabbing took place, the release said. Officers responding to the scene around 4:40 a.m. found Lord on the ground in front of the store with multiple stab wounds, it said.
Police chief Karl Jegeris said in a Facebook video that Lord was "brutally stabbed and left to die in front of the Loaf 'N Jug."
Lord was transported to Rapid City Regional Hospital, where she died from her injuries, said police spokesman Brendyn Medina.
The president of Loaf 'N Jug, Arthur Stawski Sr., said the company was "deeply saddened by the senseless loss" of its associate.
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"We are doing everything we can to help the Rapid City Police Department in their investigation," he said in an email.
Mayor Steve Allender said Lord's killing — the city's second homicide in 18 days of 2017, compared with two for all of last year — is a blow to the community.
"It is something that we are and should be embarrassed of as a local society," he said. "The question now is, how do you track this backwards and figure out how this could have happened or how someone may have prevented it?"
Just hours before the incident, on Tuesday night, business owners and workers downtown told the city council they were concerned for their safety. They cited aggressive panhandlers and intoxicated people who harassed people downtown.
“We couldn’t get it off our minds last night, and then less than eight hours later, we have this tragedy,” Alderwoman Lisa Modrick said. “As a member of the city council and of the community, you feel some responsibility.”
Lord's death also elicited a strong response on social media. People quickly took to Facebook and Twitter to express a range of emotions, including grief, anger and bewilderment at what they termed a senseless tragedy.
Jegeris posted a Facebook video and tweeted about the incident at 6 a.m. At 7:45 a.m., police and Pennington County Sheriff's Office vehicles were still lined up in the 700 block of St. Andrew Street, where authorities later said the suspects were found.
A Rapid City Fire Department engine hosed down the ground in front of the Loaf ‘N Jug around 10:30 a.m. The convenience store and gas station will remain closed until further notice, said a company manager.
The first homicide of the year occurred Jan. 1, when a local man died after authorities said he had been stabbed with a bayonet attached to a firearm.
Journal staff writers Candy DenOuden and Jennifer Naylor Gesick contributed to this report.