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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Attorney General, DCI Rule Rapid City Officer Involved Shooting Justified

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023

CONTACT: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI review indicates that a Rapid City Police officer was justified in the shooting death of a man who charged at the officer during an incident Nov. 18, 2022 in Rapid City.

“The Rapid City Police Department Officer encountered an armed individual in a dangerous, escalating and tense environment,” said Attorney General Jackley. “The officer attempted to deescalate the situation but the individual they encountered continued with threatening behavior.  This was a justified use of lethal force by the officer.”

The officer had responded to an incident at a Rapid City apartment complex. The DCI investigation found that James Mathew Murphy had charged at the officer with a knife and attempted to the stab the officer. The officer subsequently discharged a duty-issued firearm twice and was justified in using lethal force. Murphy died as a result of his wounds.

Video and audio recordings from the officer’s body worn camera, witness interviews, examination of evidence by the South Dakota Forensic Laboratory and surveillance camera video corroborated the findings of DCI investigators and the officer’s account that they faced clear and present danger and that there was danger to the public.

“My thoughts and prayers remain with both Mr. Murphy’s family and the officer who was placed in this most difficult situation,” said Attorney General Jackley.

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

The summary of the incident can be found here.