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Traffic Stop Leads To Police Shootout In Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A shootout during a routine police traffic stop on the east side of Rapid City about 6:30 Wednesday night ended with the suspect in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Names have not been released and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation until the state Department of Criminal Investigations takes over.

Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris says the initial investigation makes it clear that the gunman was intending to shoot an officer but ended up striking only a police vehicle.

Chief Jegeris says the incident began with the traffic stop near the intersection of Highway 44 and St. Patrick Street, but that once the vehicle stopped on the side of the road the gunman got out and began firing. Officers returned fire and the suspect was badly wounded.

The two other occupants of the vehicle were questioned afterward, but Jegeris says both seemed very deceptive in their answers

Ironically, the incident occurred during National Police Week. Jegeris calls it “a routine traffic stop that ended up not being close to routine,” but was still one officers train for – adding that the Rapid City department has the best equipment available to protect officers in an event like this.

Jegeris says the result was “the desired outcome in a situation like this,” uncalled for conduct and behavior that the officers were ready to address – allowing an outcome in their favor.