Rapid City officer kills gunman who shot man; 3rd man dies

December 30, 2019 GMT

RAPID CITY, S. D. (AP) — A Rapid City police officer fatally shot a gunman who opened fire on law officers after he killed a man in an apartment complex, authorities said Monday. An 81-year-old man who was evacuated from the building during the gunfire also died after suffering an apparent medical issue.

Officers were called to the apartment building about 5 p.m. Sunday on a report of shots fired, Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said.

When officers arrived a man on the second floor of the building began shooting at them, striking one of their vehicles.

“It was very dynamic, very chaotic as it unfolded,” the sheriff said at a news conference.

Don Hedrick, assistant chief of the Rapid City police, said some residents in the building were told to evacuate and others to shelter in place.

Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers responded to the scene, Hedrick said.

Officers climbed a stairwell to reach the second floor and encountered the gunman, armed with a rifle, in the stairway. Rapid City police Officer Garrett Mastin, a three-year veteran of the department, shot and killed the gunman, identified as 29-year-old Patrick Alden of Rapid City.

Police identified the victim as 64-year-old David Ironhorse of Rapid City, Police believe Alden lived in the apartment building, according to the Rapid City Journal. No officers were hurt.

Thomas Trout, 81, of Rapid City, was among two elderly residents of the apartment who evacuated the building during the gunfire. Trout was found unresponsive in a vehicle a short time later and died after apparently suffering “a health-related issue complicated by the urgency of evacuation,” police said.

“There’s no question in my mind that the brave actions of our officers helped save lives,” Hedrick, the assistant police chief, said in a statement.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation will handle the case because the incident involved law enforcement fatally shooting someone, Thom said. Mastin is on standard administrative leave.