Was a South Dakota Highway Patrol Dell Rapids Shooting Justified?
The shooting of a man who charged a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper was justified according to a just concluded investigation.
Wednesday (November 8), Attorney General Marty Jackley announced that a South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation review indicated that the shooting during a traffic stop in Dell Rapids in October was warranted.
The October 11 incident began at 9:38 PM when a trooper observed a 2012 Ford Fusion traveling at a high rate of speed on Interstate 229 in Sioux Falls.
After the trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the vehicle fled the scene which led to a 12-minute pursuit, first on I-229, then onto Minnehaha County roads.
The pursuit ended after authorities used tire-deflating spike strips to disable the vehicle.
Once the vehicle stopped on Highway 115 in Dell Rapids, the driver, 24-year-old Rotislav Bershad, left the vehicle and ran directly at the trooper’s vehicle. Bershad refused the trooper’s verbal commands to stop, and the trooper fired two shots, striking the suspect once in the midsection.
Bershad was later transported to a Sioux Falls hospital with serious injuries.
According to the report, Bershad had a pocketknife in his possession and was driving a stolen vehicle.
He faces a number of criminal charges in relation to the incident.
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