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Attorney General Mark Vargo

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OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND DIVISION OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION RELEASE RAPID CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING SUMMARY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, May 4, 2022

PIERRE, S.D. – The Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Criminal Investigation today released the summary into the shooting of Barney Leroy Peoples, Jr., 51, Rapid City, SD, on March 26, 2022, in Rapid City, South Dakota.  The Division of Criminal Investigation investigated the incident at the request of the Rapid City Police Department (RCPD).

The incident began at approximately 1:34 pm MT on March 26, 2022.  The Emergency Services Communications Center in Rapid City received a 911 call regarding a burglary in progress from a homeowner who had returned home after being out of town for a few days.  The caller reported that it appeared the residence had been broken into and suspected that an unknown person was still inside the residence.

Five uniformed RCPD officers arrived at the scene and met with the homeowner who described the layout of the residence and explained his belief that an individual was still in the residence and on the upper level.  A sixth uniformed RCPD officer, who was a canine (K9) handler also joined the responders.

The officers entered the residence through a doorway on the ground floor and announced themselves verbally as police and issued verbal commands for anyone inside to make themselves known.  The officers worked their way to the main floor doing the same, and then to the upper level doing the same.  The K9 unit joined the group as they moved to the upper level where they could hear footsteps and music.  The officers again issued verbal identification of themselves and warned that if anyone in the house did not announce their presence the police K9 would be deployed.

Officers observed a shotgun resting against the wall outside a closed door leading to the master bedroom.  The K9 unit was at that same door and officers kicked the door open.  At that time the officers observed Peoples, seated on the floor with a scoped rifle pointing at the officer.  The officers verbally advised Peoples to drop the weapon and the first officer took cover beside the doorway at which time Peoples redirected his aim at a second officer.  At this time the officers discharged their duty weapons at Peoples who was struck multiple times.  He died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

The investigation and summary have been reviewed and deemed justified by the Office of the Attorney General.

The Division of Criminal Investigation would like to thank the Rapid City Police Department, Meade County Sheriff’s Office, South Dakota Highway Patrol, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their service and cooperation during the investigation.

The summary can be read here.

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