An incident that began with an armed robbery in Rapid City has ended in Custer with the suspect taking his own life.
Shortly after 3:00 p.m. on February 11th, the Rapid City Police Department responded to 909 E. Saint Patrick Street for a report of an alarm. On arrival, officers made contact with witnesses who said an unknown male suspect had entered the business, approached the pharmacy counter, brandished a firearm, and demanded prescription medication. Staff at the business complied, and the suspect left the business.
Witnesses were able to provide police with a suspect vehicle description and a license plate number. This information was shared to neighboring law enforcement agencies.
Shortly after 3:45 p.m., a Deputy of the Custer County Sheriff’s Office spotted the vehicle southbound on U.S. Highway 16/385 north of Custer. A traffic stop was initiated but the vehicle did not stop. Deputies pursued the vehicle south into Custer, where it turned right to head west on Mt. Rushmore Road. A tactical vehicle intervention (a pursuit driving tactic in which a law enforcement vehicle makes calculated contact with a fleeing vehicle in order to cause it to spin to end a pursuit) was successfully made to bring the vehicle to a stop in the area of Mount Rushmore Road and N. 2nd Street.
Law enforcement surrounded the vehicle, and observed the suspect driver holding a firearm to their person. For more than three hours, law enforcement attempted to negotiate with the suspect driver in an attempt to bring the incident to a peaceful resolution. Shortly before 7:30 p.m., the man fired the gun into his person. Emergency first aid services were rendered, and the man was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The man’s identification is being withheld until proper notification of next-of-kin can be made.
The investigations into the robbery and subsequent pursuit and standoff are active and ongoing. Questions related to the robbery should be directed to the Rapid City Police Department, and inquiries about the pursuit and standoff should be directed to the Custer County Sheriff’s Office at (605) 673-8176.
Assisting agencies during the related incidents include the South Dakota Highway Patrol, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Custer County Ambulance, South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks, and Black Hills Life Flight.