Rapid City police shot and killed a man they say was attacking a female victim in a domestic violence dispute.
Patrick Stephen Lundstrom, a 46 year old Native American man, was killed by police after they were called to a residence in the Star Village neighborhood.
Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris says when officers arrived they found a trail of blood to the residence. Jegeris says officers could hear a violent dispute occurring inside.
“In this situation last night the victim had just been assaulted and was still inside a locked house with the suspect that had assaulted her. The suspect continued to pose a real and dangerous threat to that victim. Immediate intervention was necessary,” says Jegeris.
Jegeris says police officers announced themselves and broke in the door after the suspect refused to open. They say Lundstrom was shot when he lunged at officer Matt Macrander with a metal pipe or a bar.
Police say Lundstrom had a long list of domestic violence disputes including two cases in August in which he allegedly broke into the same home and assaulted the same female victim.
Police officials say the case is about domestic violence, and is not race related. Police shootings have outraged some in the Native American community who raise concerns about violence against minorities nationwide.
“I woke up this morning and several people on Facebook said that’s why we don’t call the police. That’s what’s going to happen,” says Chas Jewett with the Rapid City group Community Conversations.
The group Community Conversations works to build cross cultural communication following a spike in racial tension over past incidents. But Jewett says this case is more about protecting a victim and less about race.
“I feel real bad for the victim. I hope that she, and I pray for her, and the families and the community. You know this is a community problem. Violence is not an Indian issue. It’s not a white issue. It’s a community issue,” says Jewett.
Jewett says she hopes the ongoing efforts to curb racism and violence in Rapid City can help foster healing following this incident. A member of group Last Real Indians, Cody Hall, issued a statement on social media critical of the police for too often using lethal force in cases like this.
Chief Jegeris says his officers acted appropriately to end violence against the victim and he's glad no one else was hurt. Jegeris says his department also wants to ease racial tension in the community. He points to new efforts hire more Native American officers.
Matt Macrander, the officer involved in the shooting, has been placed on administrative leave following normal protocol. The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.