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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND DIVISION OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION RELEASE SOUTH DAKOTA HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING SUMMARY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, May 3, 2022

PIERRE, S.D. – The Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Criminal Investigation today released the summary into the shooting of Ryan John Waldner, 41, Spencer, SD, on March 19, 2022, in rural Hanson County, South Dakota.  The Division of Criminal Investigation assisted by the Hanson County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol, investigated the incident at the request of the Hanson County Sheriff’s Office and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

The incident began at approximately 7:40 pm on March 19, 2022.  The Hanson County Sheriff’s Office and the South Dakota Highway Patrol and surrounding agencies were dispatched to an area in rural Hanson County for a report of a male shooting at a neighbor.

Officers arrived at the scene at approximately 8:00 pm and heard more shots fired from the direction of the Waldner residence.  It was determined that Waldner was in the residence with his spouse and at least two children.  It was also determined that the residence did not have a working phone.  The South Dakota Highway Patrol Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team was called to the scene as well.

At 10:28 pm the SWAT team approached the residence in a Bearcat light armored vehicle, using loudspeakers announcing their identity and requesting that any occupants should exit the residence with their hands up.  At 10:30 pm Waldner stood in the doorway of his residence and fired 2-3 shots in the direction of the law enforcement vehicle.  A female was heard screaming in the residence.  Waldner retreated into the residence only to emerge a few seconds later and again fire more shots at the law enforcement vehicle, one of which is believed to have struck the occupied vehicle.  It was at this time that a South Dakota Highway Patrol marksman took one shot which struck Waldner in the chest, resulting in him collapsing just inside the residence.  Medics were called but Waldner died at the scene as a result of his injury.

The investigation and summary have been reviewed and deemed justified by Chief Deputy Attorney General Charles McGuigan.

The Division of Criminal Investigation would like to thank the South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Hanson County Sheriff’s Office for their service and cooperation during the investigation.

The summary can be read here.

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The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the State of South Dakota and provides legal advice to agencies, boards, and commissions of the State as well as representing the State in state and federal court.  The Office of Attorney General also handles prosecutions, felony criminal appeals, civil matters, consumer protection issues, and issues formal opinions interpreting statutes for agencies of the state.  Visit www.atg.sd.gov to learn more.

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