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Attorney General Mark Vargo

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Attorney General, DCI Release Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force shooting summary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 26, 2022                                                                               

CONTACT: Stewart Huntington, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota Attorney General Mark Vargo and the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Friday released the summary of the August 9, 2022, officer involved shooting of Jacob Michael James of Sioux Falls, 21, by a Sioux Falls Police Department (SFPD) Detective and a Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Investigator after he (James) pointed a firearm and shot at the MCSO Investigator multiple times.  The report found that the officers involved in the shooting were justified in using lethal force.

“The Division of Criminal Investigation independently and thoroughly investigated this incident at the request of the Sioux Falls Police Department and the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office,” Vargo said.

On August 9, 2022, Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force officers witnessed a Pontiac Bonneville containing four (4) occupants arrive at a known drug area and conduct what appeared to be illegal drug activity. A traffic stop was later conducted on this vehicle by an SFPD Detective near 12th Street and Williams Avenue during which two males exited the vehicle and ran.

A Drug Task Force Investigator, who had arrived on scene to assist with the stop, gave commands for the two males that ran to get on the ground. One male continued running and the other male, Jacob Michael James, pulled a firearm from his waistband and fired shots at the Investigator. Both the Detective and Investigator returned fire on James and James continued to shoot at them. James was shot multiple times by the Detective and Investigator and later died as a result of those injuries.

 

“Based on body camera footage, dashboard mounted footage, interviews and additional evidence including spent shell casings from James’ weapon, our investigation determined that reasonable officers present at the scene faced clear and present danger to themselves and bystanders,” said Vargo. “The officers were justified in firing their weapons and using lethal force.”

The Division of Criminal Investigation would like to thank the Sioux Falls Police Department, the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office and the South Dakota Highway Patrol for their assistance and cooperation during the investigation.

The summary and photographs can be found here.

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