Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum did not mince words when describing the city’s fifth shooting involving an officer in less than five months, an unprecedented surge.
”These people are trying to kill our officers,” Thum said, “and that is something we are obviously very concerned about.”
Thum made a rare appearance at the city’s daily police briefing on Wednesday and partnered with Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead to answer over 25 minutes of questions from reporters about a Tuesday incident in which a man pulled a gun and shot at an officer, who immediately fired back and killed him.
Three others were in the car that police had pulled over in front of Burger King on West 12th and Williams Street. Two were detained, while one fled away in the vehicle. Over 25 hours later on Wednesday evening, police stopped and arrested, without incident, the suspect — 29-year-old Sioux Falls resident Tanner Turkey, who was pulled over in a stolen vehicle and was wanted in connection with a recent Aggravated Assault, a police release said.
Tuesday’s incident is now under review from the Department of Criminal Investigation.
It was the seventh police shooting in the city since last October, and four of those cases resulted in the subject’s death. No officers were struck by a bullet or injured, but that doesn’t mean Thum and Milstead aren’t alarmed about the skyrocketing trend of violent crimes — both overall and those involving police.
“We came very close to losing an officer yesterday, Milstead said. “Possibly more than one.
”I believe that this is still one of the safest places in America, but we have violent crime in our community that we haven’t seen at this level.”
Neither law enforcement leader would claim the violent crime spike to be a Sioux Falls-specific problem. Thum referred to shots that were exchanged with South Dakota Highway Patrol officers on I-29 near Madison a couple weeks ago.
Read the full story at Dakota News Now.