SD Attorney General: Rapid City police officer was justified in shooting death

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a Division of Criminal Investigation review indicates a Rapid City Police officer was justified in the shooting death of a man who pointed a gun at the officer and appeared to pull the trigger.

Jackley says video from the officer’s body-worn camera, along with other evidence indicates the officer verbally commanded the suspect to stop, and the suspect did not comply.

The January 18th incident began when officers were at an apartment complex looking for another person. An officer heard a woman scream, then noticed Ira Julian Wright carrying a backpack. The officer tried to make contact but Wright fled, discarded the backpack and ran into a second building. The officer deployed a Taser on Wright, but it had no effect.

As Wright ran up a flight of stairs, he turned and pointed a revolver at the officer. The officer fired, hitting Wright, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer was not hurt.


February 17, 2023